It’s Really Active Loving
Good listening is a golden gift that you can learn for your self-esteem and for connecting to others at a deeper level that will satisfy you in ways that only having an active listening experience can give you. It then can become an act of love.
Here is a type of therapy that exemplifies great listening. Reading about it can give you clues as to how you can be a more effective listener. “Client-Centered Therapy (CCT) was developed by Carl Rogers in the 40’s and 50’s. It is a non-directive approach to therapy, “directive” meaning any therapist behavior that deliberately steers the client in some way. Directive behaviors include asking questions, offering treatments, and making interpretations and diagnoses,” says Milton Keyes, Supervisor and Critical Incident De-Briefer in private practice in UK.
“The foundational belief of CCT is that people tend to move toward growth and healing, and have the capacity to find their own answers.” This tendency is helped along by an accepting and understanding climate, which you can learn to do.
TIPS TO DO:
• Listen and try to understand how things are from the other’s point of view.
• Ask them to tell the story or information in short chunks which are easier to understand and mirror back what you heard them saying.
• Check that understanding with the person you are listening to if unsure. Say, “I think I heard you say such and such______________. Did I hear you correctly?”
• Treat that relationship person with the utmost respect and regard.
• Be willing to know more and more about yourself and be willing to be known. This takes good self esteem. Check out the article Self Esteem Quiz.
• Another tip is to sing the word HU silently to yourself. This is an ancient word for God, and you can use the chant to keep your mind forced on love and respecting the person who is sharing what is important to them.
TIPS TO REMEMBER:
1. If you can listen intently, you will feel tired afterward. Effective listening is an active rather than a passive activity.
2. When you find yourself drifting away from listening during a conversation, change your body position and concentrate on having compassion.
3. Let your body position say that you are interested. Good listeners are like poor boxers: they lead with their faces.
4. Meaning cannot be sent by the speaker, unless it is stimulated or aroused in the receiver. The receiver must therefore, be an active listener for the cycle of communication to be complete.
5. A final tip is to practice moving your mind to focus gently on what the speaker is saying. To hear their point of view or process information teach yourself to let go of arguing mentally or judging what they are saying before they have completed. An open mind is a mind that is receiving and listening to information.
http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc/downloads/Sample-Activities.pdf has free classroom teacher exercises to download. You can take the test by asking three friends to help instead of using it as a classroom activity. One could be the reader of directions and the other three with you can write the answers. You can choose to approach this exercise in active listening as fun, and it will be.
Listening is the most important communication skill. If you think you listen well, then take the classroom teacher test for your listening skill level. Active listening requires concentration and mental participation. The payoff is more relationship fun and intimate feelings of satisfaction. Remember that practice, practice, practice produces a new healthy behavior habit, and developing yourself as a better listener is a priceless gift to yourself and others.