Listening Skills - 3 Main Types

i) Empathising (drawing out the speaker and getting information in a supportive, helpful way). This involves imagining yourself in another person's position by trying to understand what they are thinking, and letting them feel comfortable ‐ possibly by relating to their emotional experiences. This is usually indicated by paying close attention to what the person is saying, talking very little and using encouraging nods and words

ii) Analysing (seeking concrete information and trying to disentangle facts from emotion). This involves the use of analytical questions to discover the reasons behind the speaker's statements, especially if you need to understand a sequence of facts or thoughts. Frame the questions carefully, so you can pick up clues from the answers and use the person's signals to help form your next set of questions.

iii) Synthesising (proactively guiding the exchange toward an objective). If you need to achieve a desired result, make statements to which others can respond with ideas. Listen and give your answers to others' remarks in a way that suggests which ideas can be enacted and how they might be implemented. Alternatively, include a different solution in your next question.

Points to remember :

A speaker's confidence is heightened by intent listening

What you are told should be regarded as trustworthy until proved otherwise

Misunderstandings are caused by wishful listening ‐ hearing only what you want to hear (selective hearing). Selective hearings can be influenced by prejudices, stereotypical views, favouritism and/or an inflexible mindset. Listen to what other people are saying without imposing your assumptions and pre‐conceptions. Do not assume that you know what somebody is going to say and consequently miss the actual message

Some useful statements to help clarify and understand the speaker's message:

. I am afraid I did not quite catch what you said. Would you mind repeating it, please?

. I am aware that this isn't your field of expertise, but I would be very interested in your opinion

. I can't have explained myself clearly. What I meant to establish was.....

The 3 steps to successful communications are:

. listen carefully to what is said

. respond (if necessary, ask for clarification)

. finally, take action

Constant interruptions can be very off‐putting for people who find it difficult to get across their point of view (it is a good idea to wait 3 seconds after you think the speaker has finished before replying)

Test your understanding by rephrasing statements and repeat them to the speaker (this will improve the understanding between speaker and listener)

Effective Listening

There is a difference between listening and hearing

. hearing is a physical process which is passive, ie the ears are working

. listening is active, ie alert and focused and, in addition to hearing, involves non‐verbal signals such as eye contact, alert expression and attentive posture

One of the important parts of listening is appearing non‐judgmental

Reflective listening ‐ playing back explicit understandings of what someone has said to us. This allows validation of the comprehended message, and reassures the speaker that his/her point is understood and taken seriously

Being misunderstood ‐ There are several main causes of being misunderstood

You are not clear about what you want to say;

Your language is vague even though your objectives are clear;

Your body language contradicts your verbal message;

Listener has decided in advance what the message is, without listening to you.

Feedback ‐ guidelines for analysing a mistake:

Show an understanding of exactly what went wrong;

Draw out ways in which performance or behaviour can be improved;

Use questioning rather than assertions to let the staff member know what you think and why;

aim to express your negative opinions honestly, but in a positive manner;

Most importantly, take negative feedback away from the emotional zone by being objective, not personal.

Search For Answers

designed by: bluetinweb

We use cookies to provide you with a better service.
By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our policy. I understand