This chapter illustrates that the ability to effectively listen is a key tool not only within a university context, but also within your personal and professional life, and contribute to critical thinking. Where passive listening accepts the first and easiest meaning of what you hear, and rote listening aims simply to repeat what you hear, active listening is a cognitive process that aims to engage and improve your thinking. Active listening comprises hearing, comprehending, analysing, interpreting, and evaluating sounds. While recorded listening is increasingly available and can be useful, you must master ‘live listening’ in the pursuit of improved thinking and for your professional life beyond university. You should listen to lecturers and tutors, but it is also important to listen to your colleagues, and to those not speaking. Obstacles to active listening also include attention, distraction, and extended focus. However, not all listening should be active listening, even at university: empathetic listening has a place, especially in your relationships with others.
This chapter focuses on ways to deal with customers. First, it notes important details in relation to dealing with customers such as acknowledgment, listening, building rapport, trust maintenance, informing customers, problem ownership, and cultural issues. The chapter shows methods used by businesses to deal with clients or customers even though these methods might not work in the sales industry. It points out the importance of keeping the aim of helping customers to the right path instead of selling to them. The chapter notes the importance of building rapport with customers by having emotional intelligence and a significant level of sensitivity. It emphasizes the significance of communication, appearances, and first impressions.
This chapter begins by evaluating the basic principles of communication. It highlights the importance of communication for business and management students. The chapter looks at a basic communication model, explaining how communication, both verbal and non-verbal, may be used to persuade others through processes of logic, emotion, and ethical arguments. It also considers barriers to communication and how we might overcome them. Finally, the chapter emphasises the importance of listening.
Sarah Birrell Ivory
Becoming a Critical Thinker starts by considering what it is that makes someone a critical thinker and why critical thinking skills are worth developing. The text argues that there are many benefits to looking at the world through a critical lens. The book first defines critical thinking in direct relation to the university experience before proceeding to discuss the ways in which a learner can become more of a critical thinker. The second part of the book looks at the three aims of critical thinking: quality of argument, strength of evidence, and clarity of communication. The final part is about mastering the tools of critical thinking. There are five major tools that a good critical thinker should use: writing, reading, listening, speaking, and—perhaps obviously—thinking.