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  • looks good so we are going to go ahead and start

  • um...

  • one quick i guess word of introduction to the workshop today this is

  • technically the

  • first of two parts

  • uh... next week we're going to talk about taking better lecture notes

  • it's really hard when the teacher is talking

  • full-speed

  • and that's pretty much how they all talk to know what to write and how

  • to write it and just gets very confusing

  • one of the reasons that this is part one is because

  • if you're not mentally in the room

  • listening carefully

  • you can't take good notes and so many people struggle with their concentration

  • with their uh... listening skills

  • so the idea is

  • i want to try to get that stronger today and then if you're able to be back next

  • week i'll teach you how to actually physically write notes in a way that

  • might be different than what you do now

  • and might be better might be more helpful okay so that's kind of the idea

  • here's what i want to say to begin with

  • whenever students see the title of this workshop improving your listening skills

  • i get some really interesting

  • responses from people

  • people look at me and they say

  • you're gonna teach us how to listen

  • and i said well actually yes

  • and people say well i already know how to do that been doing that all my life

  • and hearing and listening

  • are not the same thing at all

  • and most people as i said are really not good at it and we're gonna talk about

  • that to start with

  • but here's my little uh... quick introduction to this whole thing and

  • that is

  • um... i talk to students really often and i don't know if this is gonna sound familiar to

  • you but i talk to students and i go up to one and i say

  • do you ever have a hard time concentrating when somebody's talking to

  • you

  • and here's their answer...wh..what

  • yeah okay good you come to me with me to the workshop

  • uh... people's ability to concentrate is kinda scary and so what we're gonna do

  • is we're gonna start with problems

  • we don't want to think about those too much but

  • there are a lot of reasons why people have a hard time concentrating

  • we're gonna talk about three of them really fast and then we're going to

  • focus on solutions

  • it's always nice when there are twice as many solutions as problems too bad life

  • isn't quite like that but anyway that's sort of encouraging so um... out of all

  • the reasons you might think of why a person has trouble concentrating

  • some of those are going to be addressed over here but i wanna show you three of

  • them

  • and what i'd like to have you do while i'm explaining these

  • is to figure out something for yourself i'm not going to actually ask you i just

  • want you to think about it

  • which one of these three

  • are you guilty of the most often in other words it's your personal weakness

  • and one thing i know for sure this might surprise you

  • i know even though i don't know anybody in here really

  • i know that all of you suffer from all three of these

  • and how can i know that's it's 'cause you're a human being

  • you'll understand as i go through 'em ok so the first one

  • which is a major problem for a lot of people

  • is what's usually referred to as

  • pseudo listening

  • okay and what does

  • pseudo mean

  • yeah it means false or fake

  • okay so the question is do you ever fake listen

  • okay and if you say no

  • then you're either the greatest

  • listener of all time or you don't understand what that means yet but

  • let me give you an example of it and then you'll realize oh yeah i do that

  • whether it's some or a lot

  • when i teach a class

  • at any given moment everybody in the room is in one of three categories

  • related to this issue

  • and so i'm gonna make some of you nervous here in a minute but that's okay

  • uh... some people when i'm talking and i don't just stare at my notes i kind of

  • make eye contact with people as i teach

  • sometimes i look at a person and they're looking at me like this

  • and i can tell

  • right away when i look at 'em they're locked in on me

  • and they're paying really good attention to me

  • do i like to see that

  • uh... yes

  • it's nice to know somebody's listening

  • so i tend to look at those people more often than anybody else okay and then

  • there are some people and i hope none of your ever like this because it's pretty

  • disrespectful

  • who sit in class and are just like this

  • and all that and their advertising the fact

  • i'm not listening i don't care

  • who cares if i'm being rude i'm not listening that doesn't happen very often but every once

  • in awhile and then

  • there's the third group

  • all of you are in this group every once in awhile but some of you and when i

  • describe this you realize that i almost live there

  • and i gotta get out of there

  • these are people like this

  • as i'm teaching i look at somebody and i see them doing this

  • everything looks

  • really good on the outside

  • but when i look deep in their eyes there's nobody there

  • they're gone on what i call a mental vacation

  • and if you saw

  • this from the front of a room it's it's it's like a science-fiction movie

  • like somebody

  • sucked them right out of their body

  • they're just sitting there

  • like that and i know they're not listening to one word i'm saying

  • ok when somebody goes on a mental vacation

  • that's normal

  • but the question is for you and don't answer me

  • how often do you go on vacation

  • and how long are you gone when you go

  • and i'll let you in on a little secret sometimes i've looked at somebody in

  • class and i see them

  • and i know that they're not listening so i look somewhere else and talk then

  • i look back and

  • they're still on vacation

  • so i look over here and i then i look back and a few minutes later

  • they're still on vacation

  • and so i've always wanted to do this and i'm really big on respect so i would

  • never do this but

  • this is sort of a dream

  • weird dream

  • i would go up to 'em like this right in the middle of class

  • and i'd lean over and say

  • where are you

  • take me with you

  • wherever they are it's obviously a lot more interesting that what we're doing

  • there on the beach somewhere

  • i don't know what they're doing

  • if you're the type of person who let's your mind wander

  • and then it comes back after a few seconds and then it wanders later

  • welcome to the human race

  • but if you take

  • frequent-flyer vacations and you're gone for like ten minutes at a time

  • that's not good obviously you're missing a huge amount of uh... of the work i've

  • uh... i don't know if this has happened to you before but when i was a student

  • i tried so hard to concentrate but sometimes

  • it's hard ok you know that

  • and every once in awhile i'd drift away and go on vacation

  • and then a couple minutes later i would come back

  • into my body

  • and i'd start listening again and the first thing i heard the teacher say is

  • okay so don't forget that all right

  • and i'm thinking

  • i have no idea what you're talking about so

  • does that again don't answer me does that sound like a constant nagging

  • problem or an occasional one just depends on you ok

  • the second one is something that a lot of students misunderstand when i write

  • this down

  • but i want to try to give you a little example of this too

  • it's called uh... selective listening

  • ok now

  • selective listening usually means

  • you listen to what you want to hear

  • you tune out the rest right

  • that's sometimes a problem but that's not exactly what i mean by this

  • what i mean by this is this word

  • and that is

  • distractions

  • ok so the question for you is how easily are you distracted

  • and as a result you don't listen carefully to the person talking to you

  • this could be in a conversation

  • this could be in a classroom and i'm gonna give you this example uh... and again this will

  • either sound very familiar to you or you'll think uh..not so much

  • i had a student last semester who came up to me after class one day

  • and uh...

  • said something i haven't heard to often from students

  • he said can i talk to you for a second

  • and i said

  • yeah sure what what's up

  • and he we went off into my office which is right here

  • and he said

  • could you do something about the noise

  • in the classroom

  • now the reason that was so strange is that class he was in was one of the

  • quietest classes i've ever had in my life

  • you could hear a pin drop

  • and that's on the carpet

  • so that's really quiet everybody just sat there what noise i'm trying to get people

  • to talk more and here's what he said

  • he said well i'm trying to listen to you i'm trying to concentrate but

  • the person over here

  • is chewing gum

  • the person over here is clicking their pen

  • this person's chair is

  • squeaking

  • and they're giving me a catalog of every sound going on in the room

  • i never heard any of those some other people sitting near them might not not have

  • heard 'em

  • but some people are so

  • hypersensitive

  • they're so easily distracted by anything that it just takes the smallest thing to

  • completely have them lose focus other people are really good at tuning

  • everything out and focusing

  • and barely notice anything around them

  • well if you're the type of person

  • who is really easily distracted

  • gonna talk about some things over here about how to overcome that a little

  • but that's the second one and again out of these

  • two probably one of them sounds a little

  • more common to you then the other

  • but the third one

  • is

  • major problem for at least

  • some people

  • and this has two meanings too including one that i don't mean so i wanna make

  • sure i got this

  • and that's critical listening

  • there is a type of critical listening that's actually good

  • that's when you listen to something like a sales pitch

  • and you don't automatically believe it

  • but you

  • analize it critically that's a good thing but that's not this what i mean by this

  • and this might help you to remember it is this and that is to write another word

  • that comes from the same one which is the word criticize

  • so what that means is

  • you are

  • thinking something

  • about the person talking to you whether it's in a conversation or a class

  • and it's not something really that just distracts you it's something that

  • bothers you

  • a lot

  • and as a result you end up spending all your time focusing on that

  • instead of listening to what the person is saying

  • two examples of this for you so you understand it the first one is this

  • i had a student a few semesters ago who came to me

  • with a really odd story i hear strange stories but this is one of the all-time

  • best

  • he came to me and he said

  • you know i've got a major problem in one of my classes and i don't know what to do

  • about it can you help me

  • and i said i'll try

  • and he said well it's my political science class

  • and he said everytime i go to that and then leave

  • i have no memory

  • of anything that went on in there

  • i said well you have to remember somethingd he said i remember nothing it's

  • like a

  • giant eraser

  • on my brain

  • i said that's really odd when was last time you were in the class

  • he said i just got out about twenty minutes ago

  • i said okay let's try an experiment and i had him sit down

  • and i said close your eyes so he closed his eyes

  • and i said picture yourself in the classroom and tell me all that you can

  • remember and seriously this guy sat there for probably twenty thirty seconds

  • it seemed like

  • twenty or thirty minutes and he was like this