Effective Listening Is a Wonderful Skill To Possess
In today’s time-urgent, technology-oriented society, email, text messages, Twitter, and Facebook often take the place of phone calls and face-to-face conversations.
How often do you feel rushed and pressured by the person that you are speaking to?
The listener answers you in a rapid, hurried and sometimes tense manner with an obvious desire for closure. The conversation leaves you with the feeling that for them, the desire to talk with you is a low priority.
We all know that this response can at times be necessary if the listener is facing a deadline, has a very urgent and important phone call waiting on another line or has a need to leave for a scheduled engagement.
But there are times when many individuals need and yearn for someone to simply listen to them.
How does a good listener listen?
Simply having someone who listens with genuine care and empathy is one essential element of this process. The listener exhibits concern in an unconditional manner and serves primarily as a neutral sounding board.
He or she doesn’t interject his biases into the listening process or have an agenda of his own and he keeps distractions to a minimum.
Talking with a good listener about one’s cares and concerns frequently helps ityus begin to understand our thoughts, feelings and emotions, more clearly.
As clarity develops, many people find solutions to their problems. In highly stressful situations, people often become confused and disoriented which impairs their ability to think clearly, logically and rationally.
The good listener provides a mechanism to stabilize this impaired thinking and move toward effective problem solving.
While often providing limited feedback, the listener may simply encourage the one seeking help to verbalize, clarify and see options for a solution to their problem.
Listening sometimes gives the other person an opportunity “to get something off his chest.” In this instance, the need may exist to confront his thoughts, feelings and emotions.
The spilling out of one’s feelings and thoughts often has a purgative and cathartic quality that gives the concerned individual the ability to evaluate his own behavior and, perhaps, resolve to make changes.
For some individuals with more complex problems, psychotherapeutic listening, sometimes referred to as the “talking cure,” is needed.
Effective listening is a wonderful skill to possess and can be a great gift to those in need of this assistance.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2011