Hi everyone, welcome to the Palacedaughter blog. This is the continuation of Empathic Listening 1. I hope you enjoyed the previous one. Today, we will share tips for empathetic listening. Read more…
Tips for Empathetic Listening
By using empathic listening methods, you’ll be able to hear a great deal more than what a person is saying. As a matter of fact, you will actually “hear” if an individual is holding something back or if they’re simply overcompensating for something.
To develop your empathic listening skills and utilize them for better communication, read on!
Empathic Listening Technique # 1: Allow Others to Dominate.
Generally, you feel a bit put off when you lose yourself in a conversation. You get distressed when you find yourself not able to share your opinion on something. All the same, allowing other people to run the conversation is a great thing in reality.
After all, you are not there to discuss yourself; you are there to listen with the ear of your heart. The less you center on yourself, the more you will be able to listen clearly. In relationships, you need to give that other person additional opportunities to talk. Remember: it is not just about you.
Empathic Listening Technique # 2: Ask Questions.
Asking questions is an important part of good communication. When the conversation reaches a dead end, you are able to steer the direction back to help the other person realize their feelings a bit more. Ask open-ended questions like “how, what, why, when and where?”. You are able to also ask reflective questions. How do reflective questions work? For instance, your friend admits that he does not trust his co-workers anymore.
In this case, you repeat his statement and gently push him to reflect on it. You are able to say something like, “You said that you do not trust your co-workers. May I ask you why?” Throwing his own words back at him allows him to really connect with his own thoughts and feelings; and as a result, allow you a better glimpse of him as well.
This is quite important especially when you are entertaining a client. Asking questions could lead to answers the client might have forgotten to share.
Empathic Listening Technique # 3: Reflect After Everything.
Once the individual has said everything he needs to say, it is now your turn to talk about how his problem or issues seemed like to you. By offering your own take on the situation, you’re opening up the conversation for a deeper discussion.
This also encourages the individual to take a different look at himself/herself from another set of eyes. Whether you’re in a personal or professional situation, reflection is always a great way to end things. Empathic listening methods are extremely significant. Do not underestimate the power of listening.
Why Listening Matters
Why is this listening thing such a big deal anyway? I guess it hinges on what you want out of life. The bottom line is that unless you are a hermit with utterly no human interaction, the way you behave in conversations will directly and deeply affect the success of that interaction.
You will discover why people place their emotional trusts and burdens on their supporters in this chapter.
Whether you are a boss or an employee, a parent or child, spouse or friend, prospect or client, or yes, even a benefits adviser, your success will be determined by your ability to not just hear, but to listen. Many of us hear words and sound passive, as opposed to listening actively.
According to the mountain of available research, when an individual feels heard, truly listened to and understood the feelings created are so close to those of feeling loved that most individuals cannot describe the difference. Here are five of the realities that make empathic listening so hard, and some suggestions for overcoming them.
Short attention spans
When asked to guess the average adult attention span, most individuals say around 30 minutes. According to statistics, however, it’s actually only seven seconds! That’s right – every seven seconds our brains take us somewhere else. If we’re listening, we need to make a conscious effort to stay engaged and resist the attempts of our brain to go someplace else. If we’re speaking, it helps to pause from time to time to re-engage the other individual. If we monopolize the dialogue, we’re almost guaranteed to lose the other individual. As a matter of fact, by definition, that stops being a dialogue, and instead becomes a monologue!
Pausing allows the other individual to respond, ask questions and feel like their perspective is valuable. Also, use examples to develop visual anchors for your concepts. In conversation, sharing an idea without an example is like a tree without roots or a house without a foundation. Without the power to develop these visual anchors in our brains, many concepts just will not stick.
Too many distractions
Consider this: In 1970, the average individual was exposed to about 500 advertising or sales messages per day. Nowadays, that number approaches 5,000 per day! The number of products in a grocery store was about 7,000 back then, versus almost 50,000 today!
We just have so many stimuli vying for our attention that as a coping mechanism we center only on those individuals and those things that are either the “loudest” or that actually have meaning for us personally. Everything else becomes white noise. Where practical, engage in important conversations away from as many of these distractions as possible. Thanks for reading. Please check back as we share the last segment of the Empathic Listening. In the article, we will share the issues that limit our ability to listen empathetically and how to avoid them. We shall also share the benefits of Empathic Listening.
The article was written by Funmilola Ipadeola