In chapter seven of the book Looking out/looking In, the topic is called Listening: More than Meets the Ear. The chapter educates the reader on good listening techniques and effective listening. The movie Jerry Maguire is about a high powered sports agent who is very much focused in achieving a lot of success that he pays no attention to listening to his clients. He learns the importance of listening late in his life after he saw he was about to lose the people who really mattered in his life at the end of the film.
In the movie, there are several forms of ineffective listening that come out clearly, these include; defensive listening, stage hogging and pseudo listening (Adler 2007). Stage hogging is a form of listening where a person is more interested in putting across his own point of view and has no time to listen or understand the speaker. One scene where stage hogging is clearly shown in the movie is in the scene where Jerry is speaking to Rod over the phone. Rod and Jerry are talking about a new contract. Rob does not listen to Jerry and keeps stage hogging him on the phone. The message that Jerry had planned to pass across to Rod is never passed.
Another form of ineffective listening is pseudo listening, which a listener is pretending he is paying attention to a conversation while in actual sense his mind is very far from the conversation. This style was exhibited in the novel in very many instances and some include; while in the escalator in Marriott lobby, where Jerry does not listen to Rod as they spoke about the lobby. Another instance is between Jerry and Tidwell when they were at the airport as they were waiting to catch a flight to the NFL drafts. Maguire does not pay attention to Tidwell. All the time Maguire was only half listening and was less concerned by Tidwell’s concerns. Maguire pretended that he was listening by nodding, pretending to smile, patting Tidwell on the back and pretending to laugh when the time was right.
The crucial role played by listening for there to be an effective communication is best portrayed in the airplane where Jerry Maguire narrating a story of how he proposed to his fiancé. The story is how Dorothy is so interested in the story that she stops what she was doing and listens keenly to what Jerry Maguire was saying. Listening is very crucial for good communication to take place. Hearing does not need concentration but it is the process of receiving sound in the ear and taking the sound as it is.
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In the movie there are high occurrences of selective hearing. This is where the listener only pays attention to what he wants to hear and he does not pay attention to what is said that is not of interest to him. This is shown in the movie where Jerry is trying to court Ron, Ron was not listening to Jerry and his interest was only the conversation that will assure him a big contract.
In the movie, the viewer is educated on listening and also the viewer sees the reactions and consequences to their characters for the form of listening they chose in communication. Listening is the most important part in effective communication. People in the lover all learn it is not just hearing what others are saying but listening. Jerry Maguire who is the main character is taught by experience that he doesn’t just have to listen to others but he also has to listen to his own inner voice.
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