The interview I conducted with Nanci Brillant, Osceola County 2013 Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the state of Florida. The interview lasted about 45 minutes from start to finish, and during that process, I tried to be an active and engaged listener. I did have to remember to make eye contact; it is not a regular habit yet. Because I had reviewed my questions thoroughly, I was comfortable with our talking. The challenge was trying gather all of the information in one sitting. And sometimes when we were conversing, being able to relate or make personal connections.
There were three main points concerning listening that I took away from the interview process with Ms. Brillant: Listening as a skill, Filtering through what you have listened to, and moving forward with a decisions after you have listened and filtered.
I realized after talking with her that it is hard to listen. It is most definitely a skill, as she stated in her interview, and people have to be taught to listen. Her example about listening in the classroom made me realize that it really must be a skill to be aware of what is happening in the classroom at the same time you are “listening” to someone and giving them your full attention.
When she spoke about filtering, I realized how important it was sift through the information that was being presented and sort it, usually by order of urgency or importance.
Moving forward with a decision was the final point she discussed that I had not really thought about before, but it made sense. She stated that after a person actively listens, and then filtered out what was important, they had to move forward with a decision, especially as a classroom teacher. It almost seemed that some professions like teaching have decisions embedded in decisions, all based from listening.
I think she was right when she said that these three things can’t be divided and still have an expected, successful outcome.
During the process of interviewing her, it really surprised me that the amount of decisions a teacher makes in the classroom is probably in the hundreds, through the course of a day with 7 classes. That is staggering. And to hope that all of them are good …. That is a career where I can see that listening is an invaluable skill.
As the semester is winding down, class oral histories and interviews are beginning to be submitted to College Archives so that the work of our students will be preserved for the long-term and accessible to the next generation of researchers.
Check out these great interviews from Dr. Miller’s class at Rollins College!
Although there were bumps in the road to get to the actual interview I think a lot of important information was covered. We talked about the main differences she saw between public and private healthcare, barriers between doctors and patients, the stereotypes given the barriers, and how she has learned to give bad news effectively.
I found that when she was talking about the differences she has seen between public and private healthcare, she brought up some of the barriers and stereotypes we later talked about. Even though she is a good doctor she can be frustrated by communication barriers and her knowing that her patients do not hear anything after she says the initial bad news of the diagnosis can be disheartening and concerning especially if they patient does not pay attention and misses what they have to do.
She said that some of her patients do not want to do what she is telling them to do or do not believe their diagnosis. This was confusing to me. Although understanding that changing your whole lifestyle can be very difficult and the thought of being useless during pregnancy can be hard for a mom. If you think of it from the perspective of the mother it is more understood but I can see how the barriers form. While she was talking about this you could definitely see she took the side of “doctor always right”.
Now in private healthcare she is more likely to see patients who are more proactive during their pregnancy. These are the women that found out they had a high risk pregnancy and chose to seek alternative advice which means they should be more proactive. Where she worked previously, the women who were her patients were forced to see her (not all of her patients in public healthcare were like this)
It was interesting interviewing my mother, although she was not the one I planned to interview her stances on healthcare were still very interesting and on a topic I am interested in.
On September 23rd, 2016, I interviewed Abbidel Cooke, programmer and entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur requires an individual to devote the majority of their time to the expansion of their business and innovative ways of advancing their business. This takes a lot of Abbidel Cooke’s time, but he’s able to make it work while also being employed as a sales consultant at Best Buy.
A barrier is defined as anything that gets in the way of clear communication. One barrier we had experienced was the timing of the interview. Due to his hectic schedule, it was hard to set a time and date. Hence, when being interviewed Mr. Cooke was very tired from his extensive schedule. His thoughts occasionally distanced from the questions being asked. The barrier mentioned can be considered a physiological barrier because it was caused by fatigue, and ill health. Ill health is included, because during the interview, Mr. Cooke describes an experience of when he was tired and unable to communicate with his clients. He then mentioned the following statement.
“The ingredients are there to help you succeed in your business, but you have to take into consideration that you have to keep your health. If you don’t keep your health good then you won’t actively listen, you won’t talk to your customer, you won’t show [good] body language.”
Another barrier was his cultural background. Mr. Cooke is Bangladesh. At various moments, his accent protruded, which made it difficult for me to understand. This barrier was not only present during the interview, but also when I had to transcribe. When listening to the audio file, there were times when his statements were grammatically incorrect or incomplete thoughts. I often used brackets to make sense of his statement for the audience’s sake. This barrier can be considered a physiological barrier, because it arose due to his accent (or his failure to meet a speaking standard in the English language).
However, these barriers did not dramatically hinder nor cease the interview. The overall experience was great. Not only was I able to meet and learn about the life of someone in my field, I was also able to gain experience in conducting interviews. This is a skill I would need to improve on, as an aspiring entrepreneur. I foresee me being involved in multiple interviews in my career, as both the interviewer and occasionally the interviewee.
I had to interview my mother due to Hurricane Matthew knocking down the original interview’s parent’s house. My mother is a high risk obstetrician specializing in diabetes. She has worked in both public and private healthcare which is something I focused on in the interview. If you see my mother as a patient, you have a problem with your pregnancy either the mother or the baby. She mentioned that she has noticed since moving to private practice she has seen more ownership with her patients. She said that the patients want to be there and are more likely to do what they tell them to do rather than when she worked in a public health system. When she worked in a public system those patients were forced to see her and were less likely to do what she recommended or not show up at all, not that all patients were like that just most of the ones she saw. One example she gave me was of a woman who had diabetes and was obese and my mother gave her an action plan for her pregnancy (because being overweight and diabetic can be fatal to the mother and child) the woman said she was not going to do it because that was not a real problem for her. I then asked about communication within her profession. She agreed it was very important and you have different communication between patients, nurses, and other physicians. She said with patients you always need to speak slowly and give the bad news upfront to make sure they did not think you were hiding something. She said often with bad news once they hear it they shut down and you will have to go over it a few times as well as give them paper recourses so they can read about it later. Since bad news was a common theme throughout what she said I made it into a question and asked since her job was to deliver bad news then find a way to fix it, how was the easiest way to do it? She said everything she did before as well as making sure you are speaking slow and breaking it down as easiest as possible. Communication barriers are a big problem for her she said mostly due to the fact that people shut down or the language barriers. They have to get translators or translating phones sometimes which can make the patient more nervous but ultimately help the patient. It was a very informative interview while Matthew hit our house.
On September 23rd, 2016 I was given the opportunity to interview Abbidel Cooke, a programmer and entrepreneur. Abbidel Cooke mentioned many influential and important key points in relation to various concepts of listening. As a programmer, his belief is very simple. Programming is a “whole different language…a whole different world”. It gives him exposure to a world beyond speech, and to a much more technical world. He explained that having this exposure gives him different ways to learn. As mentioned in the interview, he’s tri-lingual and has always been intrigued by other cultures. Programming is a new platform for him to explore an entirely different experience.
Salesperson listening has been defined as “the cognitive process of actively sensing, interpreting, evaluating and responding to the verbal and nonverbal messages of present or potential customers” (Castleberry and Shepherd 1993, p. 36). Mr. Cooke touched upon an important related technique. He said, it is very important to understand his customers. “If you don’t know what your customer wants, you can’t create a better future for them.” He goes on to explain, by understanding a customer’s wants and needs, and most importantly eliminating language barriers, you are able to connect more efficiently. “…words are very important. If you don’t use the words the way the customer would look at it, you can’t really do business. You have to literally make up good words to help them understand.” In other words, you have to connect with the customer. You can’t just assume that they will understand everything you’re saying. In any profession, you have to educate them as well as guide them. “So, it’s listening, understanding, and giving feedback when they want it. Not when they need to hear it, but when they want it.” Timing is essential. In general, not everyone wants advice even if it’s needed. Sometimes it’s best to wait for when advice is asked for rather than forcefully advising an individual.
Abbdiel Cooke briefly mentions some of the goals of his career. He names three: Expansion of his business; To give society services for reasonable prices; To educate his clients. Within 10 years he would like his business to grow exponentially. He is able to do contribute to his own success by creating long-term relationships with customers and having their business with him lasts for long periods. The salesperson who asks what the customer needs, listens to the response, and creatively provides a solution will build a better relationship with customers that could be beneficial to the business (Ramsey and Ravipreet, 1997). Abbidel Cooke successfully executes this. He explains how important is it to actively listen to his customers in the interview. When you listen, the customer feels appreciated and they feel as though their time is not being wasted. According to Karrass (1983), “Listening is an important aspect of the negotiation process. Negotiation requires listening, and listening can serve as an inexpensive concession to the other party (Karrass 1983).” Mr. Cooke defines active listening as, “having a piece of paper in front of you and actually listening to what they want. You are listening to [their needs] and jotting down notes as you listen…try to have an open mind and listen to them”. When he shows the customers that he cares, they favor doing business with him now and in the future. In some cases, he’s recommended for promotions by customers.
Listening is such a powerful tool in his everyday life. And he notices when something has hindered his ability to listen. He tells a story of when he felt overwhelmed with his work. He had attended school regularly, worked 40 hours as a sales consultant and 50-60 hours in his own business as a Programmer. He felt exhausted and completely absent from his surroundings when he attended his sales consultant job the following day. When his customers were trying to explain what they needed, he said it was almost as if he was not hearing anything. “Everything was coming in one ear and out the other.” To overcome this obstacle, he said coffee really wakes him up and gets him going. Mr. Cooke believes his health play an important factor in listening and understanding his clients and their needs. He’s able to focus and be productive when he feels physically and mentally healthy.
The clip below is a brief discussion on creating relationships with Abbidel Cooke:
Castleberry, Stephen B. and C. David Shepherd. 1993. “Effective Interpersonal Listening and Personal Selling.” Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 13 (Winter): 35-49.
Ramsey, Rosemary P., and Ravipreet S. Sohi. “Listening to Your Customers: The Impact of Perceived Salesperson Listening Behavior on Relationship Outcomes. “Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 25.2 (1997): 127-37. Web.
When I first sat down for my interview I was very nervous. However, I managed to get through it and find out some interesting facts about listening in the marketing profession. Kim says that listening is a very big part of her life and it all starts back to her childhood. Her parents wouldn’t give her their full attention while talking to her so now she is conscious of how important it is to listen to others. At Winter Park Hospital Kim is the manager of internal marketing so her main focus in her job is listening. She needs to gather information from the staff in the hospital and disperse it throughout. Important listening skills for her are making eye contact, giving verbal encouragers, taking notes, repeating back the information she has just received. One of her pet peeves is not writing notes when she gives someone strict instructions. For example, she told me a story about one of her interns she had a couple years back. This intern was not very respectful and Kim felt as if she were wasting her time trying to teach her. The intern would always be on her phone or when she was told to do something she would bother Kim a lot because Kim would have to stay on phone with her while she was doing the errands and that could have all been avoided if she just took notes. In our interview she described her ideal listening strategies as I stated above and it was exactly what we have been learning in class.
I was unsure how conducting an interview was going to go seeing as though I had never done one before, but to my surprise the whole process went pretty well with relative ease. After figuring out some minor hiccups that come up while trying to record the interview everything went smoothly, and functioned almost like a natural flowing conversation. After interviewing Mr. Thomas about being a vet I found that Vets can definitely fall under the helping profession category. I think they fit better in this category more so than the healthcare category because while the do provide physical support for animals they are also providing an emotional support for pet owners.
My key findings from the interview would be the main component of listening when it comes to being a vet would be critical listening. After transcribing my interview and looking it over I found that a lot of the listening that is done is to find out key information that is related to problem solving. At vet has to listening to evaluate and learn. Mr. Thomas even stressed that listening plays a large role because you are dealing with patients that cannot speak or advocate for themselves. You have to listening to their owners to extract as much information and learn what you can about the patient. Another large part of her listening process is knowing what questions to ask, and paying attention to the feedback you are getting. Mr. Thomas could not stress enough that if you don’t pay attention you can miss a lot, which could in the end lead to a miss diagnosis. She also stressed that listening is key to defining a relationship between vets and clients because vets don’t what their clients to think that they don’t know what is going on because that is where you begin to have breakdowns.
Not only is critical listening important, but I also found that therapeutic listening plays a role in being a vet. While it might not be the as apparent and as important as critical listening therapeutic listening is a part of the comforting process when dealing with animal owners. In one of me questions I asked Mrs. Thomas if emotions got in the way or effected listening. She said yes. She told me that you have to step back and let me get their emotions out, let them breathe and give them the minute that they need. Sometimes people don’t understand what is happening or want to deny that their pet is sick and the vet has to do their best to comfort that individual and let them know that there is no other option and they have to deal with those client’s emotions.
Much of what I found came from minutes 12:52 to 22:00 in my interview.
I was very excited to conduct this interview and to learn interesting things about the law profession and the interview surely provided me with that. I was able to find some key findings in my interview with the professional lawyer I had chosen, these were that law involves a lot of listening, and that nonverbal communication plays a large factor in law.
Law is an almost counselor like profession. I learned that, besides the main fact to fight cases, lawyers are hired by clients just as a person to talk to! Clients feel that it is very important to tell the lawyer their side of the story and its very important for the lawyer to actually listen, to show the client that they care about what they have to say. I came to the conclusion that this is best looked at as therapeutic listening. Lawyers are providing a service that is almost like something a therapist would provide. They are hired by a client and they have to listen to the clients problems and whatever case they are about to get into, then the lawyer provides their services to help with the clients outcome as best as they possibly can. I was told during the interview that listening can determine whether you even get hired or not! If the potential client feels that you a are not actively listening to them then they will take their business somewhere else where they feel that the lawyer actually cares about what they have to say.
Nonverbal also plays a large role in being a lawyer. While you are listening to the client you have to show good nonverbal behavior that helps the client know that you are listening. Also during things like mediation, litigation, and court; nonverbal communication can be important to show opposing council, judges, or mediators that you are listening to them and show a professional look. My Interviewee told me that during some court hearings the opposing lawyer will be on his/her phone and not really paying attention to what is going on at the moment. At this point the judge could subconsciously favor the other lawyer more just because it seems like they are paying attention and listening better.
These were the two best key findings I found during my interview. Law requires a lot of therapeutic and active listening and the nonverbal communication you show is very important as well. The interview I conducted was very interesting and I learned a lot of beneficial things from it.
Nanci- yeah I would say so. Students need to be listened to so that you can judge what your next step is. Parents, in the K through 12 environments need to also be listened to since they are a stakeholder. Teaching I guess like any organization, you must listen to your chain of command my principal as an example. You must be able to act on what knowledge you glean from your conversations. Because teaching a classroom of twenty-five—no matter what the age group—requires hundreds of micro-decisions daily, and without listening the wrong choices would often be made. Listening, filtering the information and moving forward is a three-step process that cannot be divided and still having the same outcomes. Think of it this way. If a person assumes they know all of the information and makes decisions and choices, what are the odds that they will be making the right decisions without all of the information? Does that make sense?
The three things that I picked out from the interview is how important listening between teacher and parent actually is. The next thing is how students and teachers listening habits can affect the social outcome. And the last thing is how technology plays a role in listening and as a distraction as well.
Key point learned from interview: The importance of teacher and parent communication has been widely recognized and Ms. Brillant mentioned how important it is to listen to parents, since they are stakeholders. This article discusses a study that shows when teachers are given instruction in listening to parents, significant listening benefits and communication are achieved.
Key point learned from the interview: Children’s talking and listening skills in the classroom is vital to the educational process. This study reviews children’s and teacher’s listening habits and how it affected learning and social outcome.
Key point learned from the interview: Technology and systems to aid in listening and filtering information are critical to a successful classroom. This interview discusses how students can use computers and technology better, for example, in a computer lab where students need support learning a language.
Bosacki, S., Rose-Krasnor, L., & Coplan, R. J. (2014). Children’s talking and listening within the classroom: teachers’ insights. Early Child Development & Care, 184(2), 247-265.
McNaughton, D., Hamlin, D., McCarthy, J., Head-Reeves, D., & Schreiner, M. (2007). Learning to Listen: Teaching an Active Listening Strategy to Preservice Education Professionals. Topics In Early Childhood Special Education, 27(4), 223-231.
Zou, B. (2013). Teachers’ support in using computers for developing students’ listening and speaking skills in pre-sessional English courses. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26(1), 83-99.