Kathryn Britton, MAPP '06, is the associate editor for PPND and recently the book author for the first two books in the PPND series, Resilience: How to Navigate Life's Curves and Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts. She also writes regularly for PPND and in her own blog, Positive Psychology Reflections. Full bio. Articles.
Here is an invitation we received from Professor Avraham Kluger at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and colleague Osnat Bouskila-Yam. They are inviting people to participate in a research project to evaluate a scale for listening behaviors. Read on, and see if you are a good candidate and wish to contribute 20 to 30 minutes to this research.
In the world of Human Resources and business management (but certainly not limited to them), there is a growing emphasis on improving the quality of interactions among people in organizations. Underlying this trend is the assumption that better interaction will be beneficial for the individuals and consequently for the organization as a whole. A key element of this interaction we wish to bring into the limelight with this research is listening.
Listening is theoretically agreed upon as advantageous, and is conceived pivotal by many management consultants: good listening is positively correlated with sales, customer trust, subordinate well being, and lack of anxiety among medical patients. Yet, the skill of good listening is poorly understood, and listening has received very little empirical research.
A Scale for Measuring Listening Behaviors
Therefore, we seek to establish a reliable and stable measure of listening skill that will sample the universe of the listening concepts known to us. To achieve this goal, we developed a single comprehensive scale — the Facilitate Listening Scale (FLS). The FLS contains all the meaningful items we found in 10 published scales, as well as items we developed on the basis of theoretical advancements in the past decade.
The FLS also differs from existing measures in perspective, as it seeks to understand listening behaviors from the point of view of subordinates regarding the listening behaviors of their supervisors. The FLS contains
- Items tapping behaviors, such as “When my current supervisor listens to me, most of the time, s/he restates what I say,” and “When my current supervisor listens to me, s/he often interrupts me while I am talking.”
- Items tapping the impact of listening, such as “When my current supervisor listens to me, most of the time, it makes me feel understood,” or “When my current supervisor listens to me, most of the time, it makes me worry about myself.”
The FLS contains 138 listening items and a few demographic items.Testing the Scale – Where You Come In
To create a quality measure, we seek to obtain a sample of at least 1,000 respondents. This will allow us to run an exploratory factor analysis that will yield relatively stable results. We will further test the stability of the factors with confirmatory factor analyses comparing the data structure across industries, countries, and other types of demographic variables.
The result of this research is expected to yield a new picture of the facets composing effective managerial listening behavior. This might be useful for (a) designing a brief FLS for future practical use (b) assessing various components of management listening skills (c) designing targeted listening training and (d) supporting future listening research.
What It Means to You
By taking the FLS survey you will:
- Gain insight into what works and what doesn’t work in your relationship with your manager
- Help us and others teach managers how to become better listeners
- Help us understand the critical aspects of listening
Our pre-test with over 50 respondents indicated that the taking the questionnaire requires 20-30 minutes.
To take the questionnaire, click here.
We greatly appreciate your participation.
Here are some other papers by Professor Kluger.
Kluger, A. & Van Dijk, D. (2010). Feedback, the various tasks of the doctor, and the feedforward alternative. Medical Education, 44(12), 1166-1174.
Van Dijk, D. & Kluger, A. (2010). Task type as a moderator of positive/negative feedback effects on motivation and performance: A regulatory focus perspective. Journal of Organizational Behavior.
Kluger, A. & Nir, D. (2010). The Feedforward Interview. Human Resource Management Review, 20(3), 235-246. For more information, check the Feedforward site.
Kluger, A. N. Positive Psychology Training Modules, in English.
Both images in the body of the article are from the Microsoft Office clipart collection.