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The Evaluating Stage

The Evaluating Stage

Author: Sophia Tutorial
Description:

Define the evaluating stage of the listening process

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Tutorial
KEY POINTS
  • The listener assesses the information she's gathered from the speaker both qualitatively and quantitatively.

  • Evaluating allows the listener to form an opinion of what she's heard.

  • Evaluating is important for a listener in terms of how what she's heard will affect her own ideas, decisions, actions, and/or beliefs.

The Evaluating Stage

FocusOnce you understand what you hear, you can focus in on the relevant information.
Focus
Once you understand what you hear, you can focus in on the relevant information.

This stage of the listening process is the one during which the listener assesses the information they received, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Evaluating allows the listener to form an opinion of what they heard and, if necessary, to begin developing a response.

During the evaluating stage, the listener determines whether or not the information they heard and understood from the speaker is well constructed or disorganized, biased or unbiased, true or false, significant or insignificant. They also ascertain how and why the speaker has come up with and conveyed the message that they delivered. This may involve considerations of a speaker's personal or professional motivations and goals. For example, a listener may determine that a co-worker's vehement condemnation of another for jamming the copier is factually correct, but may also understand that the co-worker's child is sick and that may be putting them on edge. A voter who listens to and understands the points made in a political candidate's stump speech can decide whether or not those points were convincing enough to earn their vote.

The evaluating stage occurs most effectively once the listener fully understands what the speaker is trying to say. While we can, and sometimes do, form opinions of information and ideas that we don't fully understand—or even that we misunderstand—doing so is not often ideal in the long run. Having a clear understanding of a speaker's message allows a listener to evaluate that message without getting bogged down in ambiguities or spending unnecessary time and energy addressing points that may be tangential or otherwise nonessential.

This stage of critical analysis is important for a listener in terms of how what they heard will affect their own ideas, decisions, actions, and/or beliefs.

Source: Source: Boundless. "The Evaluating Stage." Boundless Communications Boundless, 2 Mar. 2017. Retrieved 28 Jun. 2017 from https://www.boundless.com/communications/textbooks/boundless-communications-textbook/learning-to-listen-and-helping-others-do-the-same-5/stages-of-listening-30/the-evaluating-stage-137-476/

Terms to Know
assess

to determine, estimate or judge the value of; to evaluate

evaluating stage

the stage of the listening process during which the listener critically assesses the information she's received from the speaker

tangential

merely touching, referring to a tangent, only indirectly related