The Art of Creative Listening

Ice Breaker — Write the first word you think of when you hear the word — COMMUNICATION. Explain.

Directions?  OK Procedures?  Gave permission to children?

Why Listen?? Good listening produces satisfaction and success!!

1. Casual social interchange

Strangers and casual acquaintances

A.)  Little concentration or involvement.

B.)  Subject matter not real deep.

C.)  Basic friendliness and openness in case further communication need arise.

2.Personal social level

A.)  After 1st level — if mutual interest, you move to next level.

B.)  Greater importance than casual comments @ the weather

C.)  Ideas and information may be exchanged but the principal purpose is to enjoy the relationship and to give and receive a feeling of personal acceptance and worth.

D.)  Requires sensitivity to other’s feelings.

3.Information and Idea Level

A.)  May or may not involve a personal relationship of any importance.

B.)  May take place in a large lecture hall or a small meeting.

C.)  May be a mutual project.

D.)  Primarily involves intellectual processes, but emotional processes cannot be overlooked b/c it could distort or block perception.

4.Information and Idea Level

A.)  Most rewarding level — transforms BEING into LIVING

B.)  2 people share innermost thoughts & reveal whom they are, what they want, & how they feel.

C.)  Involves real caring for one another.

D.)  Being willing to expose most private self and to accept such disclosure from another in a supportive and loving manner.

E.)  Requires a strong base of mutual confidence.

F.)  Belief that such sharing is SAFE.

G.)  Requires a large measure of EMPATHY.

 Empathy — the ability to understand and accept another without judgmental attitudes.
Giving and Accepting at this level requires a secure self-image.

H.)  Occurs in many different situations:

  1. Marriage
  2. Foundation of family
  3. Between friends
  4. When people are committed the well-being of a whole group
  5. Complete strangers in a chance encounter

Attitudes for listening

A.)  Willingness to listen.

B.)  Show interest in what people have to say.

C.)  Feel a genuine interest in people and their ideas.

D.)  Readiness and willingness to learn.

Empathy & Sensitivity

  • Awareness of your needs & feelings toward speaker.
  • Emotional involvement w/ individual and subject matter.
  • Ability to detect needs and desires of others.
  • Ability to understand feelings & emotions and demonstrate understanding & acceptance.

Empathy – the ability to understand what another is feeling, to acknowledge his right to experience that emotion, even though you may consider it inappropriate and to communicate these attitudes.

Empathy may also involve a shared emotion, idea, or belief that involves communication of both acceptance and agreement.

  • Existence in an atmosphere of openness & trust
    evaporates in fear & suspicion

Barriers to Listening

  1. Preoccupation — focus attention on problem at hand
  2. Rate of thinking — conversation = 125 words per minute
    may even slow to 100 words per minute (if complex)
    Mind can think @ 400-600 wpm.
    Brain has leisure time —
    Side trips — reduce % of info.

Turn rate of thinking from liability to ASSET

  1. Organize thoughts — see pattern and progression
  2. Analyzing — cause/effect relationship
    Actively involve — cuts boredom

Learn to remain SILENT.

Listen for feelings!

Empathetic Listening

Five Steps to Learning Empathetic Listening

  1. Mimic the content of the communication.
  2. Rephrase content.
  3. Reflect feelings.
  4. Rephrase content and reflect feelings.
  5. Learn when not to reflect.

The deepest need of the human soul is to be understood.

Understanding is not the same as agreeing.

Empathetic responses will backfire if the attitude behind them is wrong.