The Remembering Stage

The Remembering Stage

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Define the remembering stage of the listening process

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  • Memory is essential throughout the listening process.

  • Memory lets the speaker put what she hears in the context of what she's heard before.

  • Using information immediately after receiving it enhances information retention.

  • Distracted or mindless listening reduces information retention.

The Remembering Stage

MemoryRemembering what you hear is key to effective listening.
Remembering what you hear is key to effective listening.

In the listening process, the remembering stage occurs as the listener categorizes and retains the information she's gathered from the speaker for future access. The result--memory--allows the person to record information about people, objects and events for later recall. This happens both during and after the speaker's delivery.

Memory is essential throughout the listening process. We depend on our memory to fill in the blanks when we're listening and to let us place what we're hearing at the moment in the context of what we've heard before. If, for example, you forgot everything that you heard immediately after you heard it, you would not be able to follow along with what a speaker says, and conversations would be impossible. Moreover, a friend who expresses fear about a dog she sees on the sidewalk ahead can help you recall that the friend began the conversation with her childhood memory of being attacked by a dog.

Remembering previous information is critical to moving forward. Similarly, making associations to past remembered information can help a listener understand what she is currently hearing in a wider context. In listening to a lecture about the symptoms of depression, for example, a listener might make a connection to the description of a character in a novel that she read years before.

Using information immediately after receiving it enhances information retention and lessens the forgetting curve, or the rate at which we no longer retain information in our memory. Conversely, retention is lessened when we engage in mindless listening, and little effort is made to understand a speaker's message.

Because everyone has different memories, the speaker and the listener may attach different meanings to the same statement. In this sense, establishing common ground in terms of context is extremely important, both for listeners and speakers.

Source: Source: Boundless. "The Remembering Stage." Boundless Communications Boundless, 2 Mar. 2017. Retrieved 29 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-remembering-stage-139-1415/

Terms to Know

the ability of an organism to record information about things or events with the facility of recalling them later at will


memory; the ability to remember

remembering stage

the stage of listening wherein the listener categorizes and retains the information she's gathering from the speaker