Cue words will help you to categorize and understand the content of what you are hearing. Hearing these types of words, after some practice in listening for them, will help trigger the process that allows you to sort out the content. The cue words to look for can be broken down into several general areas.
Cue Word Trigger Words
- Perception - Observe, notice, detect, picture, see, hear, touch, feel, taste, smell
- Induction - Qualities, rule, pattern, generalization, on the whole, common elements, common characteristics
- Analysis - List, outline, classify, reasons, parts, sort, define, sequence, categorize, analyze, factors, procedures, steps
- Same/Different - Compare, contrast, differentiate, same, different, alike, similar
- Insight - Inference, realization, overlapping pattern, connection, parallel pattern, infer, relationship
- Appraisal - Weigh, grade, rate, prioritize, appraise, rank by value such as best-to-worst or most-to-least
- Summary - Main idea, condense, main point, reduce, summary, sum up, focus, in a nutshell, summarize
- Evaluation - Belief, judge, viewpoint, decide, opinion, evaluate, believe, critique
- Idea - Ideas, goals, options, changes, ways, possibilities, opportunities
- Prediction - Predict, forecast, hypothesize, consequences, affect, effects, happen
- Action - Apply, build, do, use, write, graph
Do you occasionally find you are so concerned with formulating a response that you aren't really listening to the the person who is speaking? Some of us get so eager, or so anxious, about preparing a reply or anticipating a change in the focus of attention toward ourselves that we lose the message and completely forget that someone else is speaking.
Mental and physical circumstances can also interfere with active listening. These may include items such as the following:
Personal thought processes:
- Mind reading - Anticipating what might be said
- Rehearsing - Your responses
These can block reception of the total content of the message being sent.
Emotional involvement with the topic:
- Being right
- Preconceived view of the speaker
These can make you filter what you hear and block reception of the total content of the message being sent.
- Needing a bathroom
- Too many adult beverages the night before
- White noise or facilities that are inappropriate for group needs
If possible, try to choose a room for group meetings where white noise or background noise is kept to a minimum. Also, look for a room that fits the size of the group, where the chairs are comfortable, and where everyone can maintain eye contact.