(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Empathetic Listening

            "I need to talk to you!" How many times have we heard this, especially when we are busy and just want to tell that person to send us an email, give us a note or leave a message on our voice mail. My friends, family and peers tell me I"m a good listener. I must admit; however, at times I find myself thinking about other things than what the speaker is talking about. I easily get distracted or tune out if bored. I recently found out that it takes skill and practice to be a "good listener" and exhibit empathy. In Chapter Five, of Bridges Not Walls, Stewart and Logan state that in order to listen empathically, its important to develop three sets of competencies: focusing skills, encouraging skills and reflecting skills.
             Focusing skills is further divided into four parts. First, give your attention to the person you are listening to. Consider it as an investment in time. Accomplish this by "aiming your posture" so that you"re facing the person whom you"re listening to and if seated, slightly lean forward. Second, "make natural and appropriate eye contact." This shows you are conscious of the person and intent on what they are saying. Parts three and four are to "move responsibly" and "make responsive sounds." Moving responsibly means smiling, nodding your head, frowning and so on. These actions should mirror what the person says and does. An effective listener isn't nodding or smiling all the time, only in response to what the person is saying. Responsive sounds are, "Mnnhuh", "Oh?" "Yeah" and so on. They are used in the same way as moving responsibly. Presenters need sounds like these to reassure them that their audience or observer is actually listening. .
             Encouraging skills is designed to get information or more communication from the person. Asking the person to "elaborate" or give an "example" of the situation can do this. Also, mirroring or repeating a word or phrase the person is saying with a question is another example.

Essays Related to Empathetic Listening

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question