Wikia

Psychology Wiki

Changes: Active listening

Edit

Back to page

(Tactics)
Line 4: Line 4:
   
 
Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding. It focuses attention on the speaker. Suspending one’s own frame of reference and suspending judgement, are important in order to fully [[Attention|attend]] to the speaker.
 
Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding. It focuses attention on the speaker. Suspending one’s own frame of reference and suspending judgement, are important in order to fully [[Attention|attend]] to the speaker.
  +
   
 
==Tactics==
 
==Tactics==
It is important to observe the other person's [[behavior]] and [[body language]]. Having heard, the listener may then [[paraphrase]] the speaker’s words. It is important to note that the listener is not necessarily agreeing with the speaker—simply stating what was said. In [[emotion]]ally charged [[communication]]s, the listener may listen for [[feelings]]. Thus, rather than merely repeating what the speaker has said, the active listener might describe the underlying emotion (“you seem to feel angry” or “you seem to feel frustrated, is that because…?”).
+
It is important to observe the other person's [[behavior]] and [[body language]]. Having the ability to interpret a person's body language allows the listener to develop a more accurate understanding of the speaker's words.<ref>{{cite book |last= Atwater |first= Eastwood |title= I Hear You |publisher= Prentice-Hall |year= 1981 |isbn= 0-13-450684-7 |page= 83 }}</ref> Having heard, the listener may then [[paraphrase]] the speaker’s words. It is important to note that the listener is not necessarily agreeing with the speaker—simply stating what was said. In [[emotion]]ally charged [[communication]]s, the listener may listen for [[feeling|feelings]]. Thus, rather than merely repeating what the speaker has said, the active listener might describe the underlying emotion (“you seem to feel angry” or “you seem to feel frustrated, is that because…?”).
   
Individuals in conflict often [[Contradiction|contradict]] one another. This has the effect of denying the validity of the other person’s position. This can make one defensive, and they may either lash out, or withdraw. On the other hand, if one finds that the other partly understands, an atmosphere of [[cooperation]] can be created. This increases the possibility of [[Collaboration|collaborating]] and resolving the conflict.
+
Individuals in conflict often [[Contradiction|contradict]] one another. This has the effect of denying the validity of the other person’s position. Either party may react [[self-defense|defensive]]ly, and they may lash out or withdraw. On the other hand, if one finds that the other party understands, an atmosphere of [[cooperation]] can be created. This increases the possibility of [[Collaboration|collaborating]] and resolving the conflict.
  +
  +
In the book ''Leader Effectiveness Training,'' [[Thomas Gordon (psychologist)|Thomas Gordon]], who coined the term "active listening",<ref>{{cite book |title=Points of influence: a guide to using personality theory at work
  +
|last=Segal |first=Morley |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1997 |publisher=Jossey-Bass |location= |isbn=0787902608, 9780787902605 |page=215 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=iPZGAAAAMAAJ&q=%22active+listening%22+Gordon+coined&dq=%22active+listening%22+Gordon+coined&ei=mkRKS-bNEJ3GNZXVxIEK&cd=2 }}</ref> states "Active listening is certainly not complex. Listeners need only restate, in their own language, their impression of the expression of the sender. ... Still, learning to do Active Listening well is a rather difficult task..."<ref>{{cite book |title=Leader Effectiveness Training |last=Gordon |first=Thomas |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1977 |publisher=Wyden books |location=New York |isbn=0-399-12888-3 |url= |page=57 }}</ref>
  +
  +
A four step process (termed "[[Nonviolent Communication]]" or "NVC") was conceived by [[Marshall Rosenberg]] which can help facilitate the process of active listening. "When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, and needed [and requested] rather than on diagnosing and judging, we discover the depth of our own compassion. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC fosters respect, attentiveness, and empathy, and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart."<ref>[http://cnvc.org/node/393 Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. — Chapter 1; paragraph 3 under "A Way To Focus Attention," (book: page 3).]</ref> Rosenberg further clarifies the intricacy of perception and adaptiveness of what he calls "deep listening" by saying; "While I conveniently refer to NVC as a “process” or “language,” it is possible to express all four pieces of the model without uttering a single word. The essence of NVC is to be found in our consciousness of these four components, not in the actual words that are exchanged."<ref>[http://cnvc.org/node/393 Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. — Chapter 1; paragraph 8 under "The NVC Process," (book: pages 7 and 8).]</ref>
   
 
==Use==
 
==Use==
Active listening is used in a wide variety of situations, including interviews in [[employment]], [[counseling]]etc. In groups it may aid in reaching [[Consensus decision-making|consensus]]. It may also be used in casual [[conversation]] to build understanding.
+
Active listening is used in a wide variety of situations, including public interest advocacy, community organizing, [[tutoring]],<ref>{{cite journal |author=Maudsley G |title=Roles and responsibilities of the problem based learning tutor in the undergraduate medical curriculum |journal=BMJ |volume=318 |issue=7184 |pages=657–61 |year=1999 |month=March |pmid=10066213 |pmc=1115096 |url=http://bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=10066213}}</ref> medical workers talking to patients,<ref name=floyd>{{cite journal |author=Lang F, Floyd MR, Beine KL |title=Clues to patients' explanations and concerns about their illnesses. A call for active listening |journal=Arch Fam Med |volume=9 |issue=3 |pages=222–7 |year=2000 |pmid=10728107 |doi=10.1001/archfami.9.3.222}}</ref> [[HIV]] counseling,<ref>{{cite journal | url = http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/MeetingAbstracts/102211101.html | title = HIV counselling skills used by health care workers in Zambia (abstract no. PD0743) | author = Baxter P, Campbell T. | journal = Int Conf AIDS | date = 1994 August 7–12 | volume = 10 | issue = 390}}</ref> helping [[suicidal]] persons,<ref>{{cite journal |author=Laflamme G |title=[Helping suicidal persons by active listening] |language=French |journal=Infirm Que |volume=3 |issue=4 |pages=35 |year=1996 |pmid=9147668 |doi=}}</ref> management,<ref>{{cite journal |author=Mineyama S, Tsutsumi A, Takao S, Nishiuchi K, Kawakami N |title=Supervisors' attitudes and skills for active listening with regard to working conditions and psychological stress reactions among subordinate workers |journal=J Occup Health |volume=49 |issue=2 |pages=81–7 |year=2007 |pmid=17429164 |doi=10.1539/joh.49.81}}</ref> [[counseling]] and [[Journalism|journalistic]] settings. In groups it may aid in reaching [[Consensus decision-making|consensus]]. It may also be used in casual conversation to build understanding, though this can be interpreted as condescending.
  +
  +
A listener can use several degrees of active listening, each resulting in a different quality of communication. The Active Listening Chart below shows the three main degrees of listening: Repeating, Paraphrasing and Reflecting.
  +
  +
[[Image:Active-listening-chart.png|center|thumb|Active Listening Chart]]
   
 
The benefits of active listening include getting people to open up, avoiding misunderstandings, resolving conflict and building [[Trust (sociology)|trust]].
 
The benefits of active listening include getting people to open up, avoiding misunderstandings, resolving conflict and building [[Trust (sociology)|trust]].
  +
In a medical context, benefits may include increased patient satisfaction,<ref name="floyd" /> improving cross-cultural communication,<ref>{{cite journal |author=Davidhizar R |title=Listening--a nursing strategy to transcend culture |journal=J Pract Nurs |volume=54 |issue=2 |pages=22–4; quiz 26–7 |year=2004 |pmid=15460343 |doi=}}</ref> improved outcomes,<ref name=floyd/> or decreased [[litigation]]<ref>{{cite journal |author=Robertson K |title=Active listening: more than just paying attention |journal=Aust Fam Physician |volume=34 |issue=12 |pages=1053–5 |year=2005 |pmid=16333490 |url=http://www.racgp.org.au/AM/Template.cfm?Section=200512&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=5780}}</ref>.
   
==See also==
+
Active listening can be lifted by the Active Listening Observation Scale.<ref>{{cite journal |author=Fassaert T, van Dulmen S, Schellevis F, Bensing J |title=Active listening in medical consultations: development of the Active Listening Observation Scale (ALOS-global) |journal=Patient Educ Couns |volume=68 |issue=3 |pages=258–64 |year=2007 |pmid=17689042 |doi=10.1016/j.pec.2007.06.011}}</ref>
  +
  +
==Barriers to Active Listening==
  +
All elements of communication, including listening, may be affected by barriers that can impede the flow of conversation. Such barriers include distractions, trigger words, vocabulary, and limited attention span<ref>{{cite book |author=Reed, Warren H. |title=Positive listening: learning to hear what people are really saying |publisher=F. Watts |location=New York |year=1985 |isbn=0-531-09583-5 }}</ref>.
  +
  +
Listening barriers may be psychological (e.g. emotions) or physical (e.g. noise and visual distraction). Cultural differences including speakers' accents, vocabulary, and misunderstandings due to cultural assumptions often obstruct the listening process.
  +
  +
Frequently, the listener's personal interpretations, attitudes, biases, and prejudices lead to ineffective communication.
  +
  +
==Overcoming Listening Barriers==
  +
  +
In order to use the active listening technique to improve interpersonal communication, one puts personal emotions aside during the conversation, asks questions and paraphrases back to the speaker in order to clarify understanding, and one also tries to overcome all types of environment distractions. Furthermore, the listener considers the speaker's background, both cultural and personal, to benefit as much as possible from the communication process. Eye contact and appropriate body languages are also helpful.
  +
  +
== See also ==
 
* [[Informational listening]]
 
* [[Informational listening]]
* [[Effective listening]]
+
* [[International Listening Association]]
  +
* [[Listening problems]]
  +
* [[Nonviolent Communication]]
  +
* [[Reflective listening]]
   
==External links==
+
==References==
  +
{{reflist}}
   
  +
==External links==
  +
*[http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=100062673 Listening is powerful medicine], ''[[National Public Radio]]'', February 2009
 
* [http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/activel.htm Active Listening] International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict: Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA
 
* [http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/activel.htm Active Listening] International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict: Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA
 
* [http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article40.htm Empathic listening skills] How to listen so others will feel heard, or listening first aid (University of California). Download a one hour seminar on empathic listening and attending skills.
 
* [http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article40.htm Empathic listening skills] How to listen so others will feel heard, or listening first aid (University of California). Download a one hour seminar on empathic listening and attending skills.
Line 27: Line 31:
 
* [http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HE361 Active listening: A communication tool]
 
* [http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/HE361 Active listening: A communication tool]
 
* [http://www.listen.org Homepage of the International Listening Association] The professional organization whose members are dedicated to learning more about the impact that listening has on all human activity
 
* [http://www.listen.org Homepage of the International Listening Association] The professional organization whose members are dedicated to learning more about the impact that listening has on all human activity
* [http://www.salesconcepts.com/nl0698c.htm Guidelines for Active Listening and Reflection]
+
* [http://www.sklatch.net/thoughtlets/listen.html Better communication through better listening] Eight barriers to effective listening
  +
* [http://www.Listening-skills.com Expert guide to active listening and listening skills]
  +
* [http://www.people-communicating.com/active-listening.html Additional information on the three main levels of active listening]
   
[[Category:Listening]]
+
{{DEFAULTSORT:Active Listening}}
[[Category:Interpersonal communication]]
+
[[Category:Hearing]]
[[Category:Psychotherapy skills]]
+
[[Category:Interpersonal conflict]]
   
<!-- interwiki
+
<!--
 
[[de:Aktives Zuhören]]
 
[[de:Aktives Zuhören]]
 
[[hr:Aktivno slušanje]]
 
[[hr:Aktivno slušanje]]
  +
[[hu:Aktív hallgatás]]
 
[[nl:Actief luisteren]]
 
[[nl:Actief luisteren]]
 
[[fi:Aktiivinen kuuntelu]]
 
[[fi:Aktiivinen kuuntelu]]

Revision as of 22:47, May 7, 2010

Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Clinical: Approaches · Group therapy · Techniques · Types of problem · Areas of specialism · Taxonomies · Therapeutic issues · Modes of delivery · Model translation project · Personal experiences ·


Active listening is a way of "listening for meaning" in which the listener checks with the speaker to see that a statement has been correctly heard and understood. The goal of active listening is to improve mutual understanding. When interacting, people often are not listening attentively to one another. They may be distracted, thinking about other things, or thinking about what they are going to say next, (the latter case is particularly true in conflict situations or disagreements).

Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding. It focuses attention on the speaker. Suspending one’s own frame of reference and suspending judgement, are important in order to fully attend to the speaker.


Tactics

It is important to observe the other person's behavior and body language. Having the ability to interpret a person's body language allows the listener to develop a more accurate understanding of the speaker's words.[1] Having heard, the listener may then paraphrase the speaker’s words. It is important to note that the listener is not necessarily agreeing with the speaker—simply stating what was said. In emotionally charged communications, the listener may listen for feelings. Thus, rather than merely repeating what the speaker has said, the active listener might describe the underlying emotion (“you seem to feel angry” or “you seem to feel frustrated, is that because…?”).

Individuals in conflict often contradict one another. This has the effect of denying the validity of the other person’s position. Either party may react defensively, and they may lash out or withdraw. On the other hand, if one finds that the other party understands, an atmosphere of cooperation can be created. This increases the possibility of collaborating and resolving the conflict.

In the book Leader Effectiveness Training, Thomas Gordon, who coined the term "active listening",[2] states "Active listening is certainly not complex. Listeners need only restate, in their own language, their impression of the expression of the sender. ... Still, learning to do Active Listening well is a rather difficult task..."[3]

A four step process (termed "Nonviolent Communication" or "NVC") was conceived by Marshall Rosenberg which can help facilitate the process of active listening. "When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, and needed [and requested] rather than on diagnosing and judging, we discover the depth of our own compassion. Through its emphasis on deep listening—to ourselves as well as others—NVC fosters respect, attentiveness, and empathy, and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart."[4] Rosenberg further clarifies the intricacy of perception and adaptiveness of what he calls "deep listening" by saying; "While I conveniently refer to NVC as a “process” or “language,” it is possible to express all four pieces of the model without uttering a single word. The essence of NVC is to be found in our consciousness of these four components, not in the actual words that are exchanged."[5]

Use

Active listening is used in a wide variety of situations, including public interest advocacy, community organizing, tutoring,[6] medical workers talking to patients,[7] HIV counseling,[8] helping suicidal persons,[9] management,[10] counseling and journalistic settings. In groups it may aid in reaching consensus. It may also be used in casual conversation to build understanding, though this can be interpreted as condescending.

A listener can use several degrees of active listening, each resulting in a different quality of communication. The Active Listening Chart below shows the three main degrees of listening: Repeating, Paraphrasing and Reflecting.

The benefits of active listening include getting people to open up, avoiding misunderstandings, resolving conflict and building trust. In a medical context, benefits may include increased patient satisfaction,[7] improving cross-cultural communication,[11] improved outcomes,[7] or decreased litigation[12].

Active listening can be lifted by the Active Listening Observation Scale.[13]

Barriers to Active Listening

All elements of communication, including listening, may be affected by barriers that can impede the flow of conversation. Such barriers include distractions, trigger words, vocabulary, and limited attention span[14].

Listening barriers may be psychological (e.g. emotions) or physical (e.g. noise and visual distraction). Cultural differences including speakers' accents, vocabulary, and misunderstandings due to cultural assumptions often obstruct the listening process.

Frequently, the listener's personal interpretations, attitudes, biases, and prejudices lead to ineffective communication.

Overcoming Listening Barriers

In order to use the active listening technique to improve interpersonal communication, one puts personal emotions aside during the conversation, asks questions and paraphrases back to the speaker in order to clarify understanding, and one also tries to overcome all types of environment distractions. Furthermore, the listener considers the speaker's background, both cultural and personal, to benefit as much as possible from the communication process. Eye contact and appropriate body languages are also helpful.

See also

References

  1. Atwater, Eastwood (1981). I Hear You, Prentice-Hall.
  2. Segal, Morley (1997). Points of influence: a guide to using personality theory at work, Jossey-Bass.
  3. Gordon, Thomas (1977). Leader Effectiveness Training, New York: Wyden books.
  4. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. — Chapter 1; paragraph 3 under "A Way To Focus Attention," (book: page 3).
  5. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. — Chapter 1; paragraph 8 under "The NVC Process," (book: pages 7 and 8).
  6. Maudsley G (March 1999). Roles and responsibilities of the problem based learning tutor in the undergraduate medical curriculum. BMJ 318 (7184): 657–61.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Lang F, Floyd MR, Beine KL (2000). Clues to patients' explanations and concerns about their illnesses. A call for active listening. Arch Fam Med 9 (3): 222–7.
  8. Baxter P, Campbell T. (1994 August 7–12). HIV counselling skills used by health care workers in Zambia (abstract no. PD0743). Int Conf AIDS 10 (390).
  9. Laflamme G (1996). [Helping suicidal persons by active listening]. Infirm Que 3 (4): 35.
  10. Mineyama S, Tsutsumi A, Takao S, Nishiuchi K, Kawakami N (2007). Supervisors' attitudes and skills for active listening with regard to working conditions and psychological stress reactions among subordinate workers. J Occup Health 49 (2): 81–7.
  11. Davidhizar R (2004). Listening--a nursing strategy to transcend culture. J Pract Nurs 54 (2): 22–4; quiz 26–7.
  12. Robertson K (2005). Active listening: more than just paying attention. Aust Fam Physician 34 (12): 1053–5.
  13. Fassaert T, van Dulmen S, Schellevis F, Bensing J (2007). Active listening in medical consultations: development of the Active Listening Observation Scale (ALOS-global). Patient Educ Couns 68 (3): 258–64.
  14. Reed, Warren H. (1985). Positive listening: learning to hear what people are really saying, New York: F. Watts.

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki