Listening demonstrates presence and interest in the patient, it involves active attention to what is being said verses just receiving sensory input.
It enables the ability to:
Learn - acquire knowledge of others and make reasonable decisions
Influence - change attitudes and behaviours
Enjoy - and share pleasurable thoughts and feelings with others
Help - assist others.
Stages of Listening
Definition of Active Listening
Is a communication skill that requires concentration, attention and a minimal verbal response to help the speaker articulate his or her thoughts.
Active Listening Skills
Attending Skills- non distracting environment, facial expression/eye contact, posture of involvement.
Following Skills- use of door openers, minimal encourages, infrequent considered questions, attentive silences.
Reflecting Skills - Paraphrasing (check understanding), reflect back feeling and content, summarise the major issues, clarification.
Sit - sit to facilitate ease of sight and interaction between yourself and the other person.
Open Posture - assume a posture and facial expression the communicate interest.
Lean towards the other - lean slightly forward when listening
Eye contact - use eye contact to indicate interest.
Relax - relax in order to assist development of trust and to encourage the other to relax.
How to listen effectively as a Health Professional
- Prepare yourself to listen
- Adjust to all contexts and needs
- Tune in visibly to the other
- Listen with your whole self
- Focus attention fully on the other
- Carefully observe all the non-verbal messages of the other
- Search for the meanings of all verbal and non-verbal messages
- Clarify the meaning
- Consider cultural variations in listening
- Judging-this imposed personal belief onto others
- Taking extensive notes when listening
- Losing concentration
- Interruptions with thoughts and ideas instead of allowing the other person to finish
- Double guessing the meaning by making assumptions
- Changing the foucus to yourself
- Negative and non-supportive non-verbal behaviours
- Passive disengagements