Good listening is empathic listening; defined as a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust. It allows us to receive and accurately interpret the speaker’s message, hence able to provide an appropriate response. This is an important skill to master for both personal and professional interactions. When an individual feels understood, an emotional burden is lifted, stress and defensiveness will reduce. Hence as an empathic listener, you empower the speaker to an increased self-esteem and clarity.
Empathic listening comprises two crucial aspects – Active and Reflective Listening.
- Active listening is mindful hearing and genuine effort to comprehend what’s spoken by the other. Attentiveness is the key factor.
- Reflective listening focuses on reflecting the speaker’s words and feelings by giving feedback through a “paraphrased rendition”; the interpretation confirms and assures that the speaker is heard and understood.
BY LISTENING, YOU BENEFIT TOO
- Listen to understand
- Listen to learn
- Listen for enjoyment
- Listen to connect
Listening is a skill that not only helps and serves others, it conditions us to become more compassionate, patient and nurturing people. It takes us out of our tendency toward self absorption and self interest, connecting us intrinsically with the world around us. When we listen, we develop new points of view, perspectives and insight and at the same time foster connections that confers trust and respect.
Knowing how to be an engaged listener is a pivotal skill for effective communication. Learning the combined set of skills and techniques will empower you with the ability to build excellent rapport with others, manage stress at the moment and develop the capacity to recognise and understand your emotions and those you are communicating with.
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