Our final installment in this Active Listening series deals with using “I” messages, and a method known as “Redirecting”.
By using “I” in your statements, you direct focus back to the problem and not to the person you are listening to. An “I-message” lets you share with the speaker what you are feeling and why — for example, “I know you have a lot to say, but I need to clarify on. . .”, or “I would like to know more about what you just said regarding…”. Use of “I” messages
By now, if you’ve been keeping up with our series on Active Listening, you should be getting very good at it. And so, you’re ready for an advanced technique called “Probing”, you listening rockstar you! Probing is an approach using hypothetical questions to elicit more conversation related to what the Speaker is communicating. This allows you, as the active listener, to draw them out and get deeper and more meaningful information! For example, you could ask things like: “
This week’s approach continues to build on the “reflecting” technique, but focuses entirely on precisely what the speaker is feeling. This is referred to as “Emotional Labeling”. Using this approach, the listener puts perceived feelings into words in an effort to help the speaker to see things in light of their subjective emotions. This is done to provide the emotional distance the speaker may need in order to see the subject more objectively. To help the person who is spea
This week, we’re going to tackle a particularly effective technique: giving feedback. This is an area that we all probably think we already understand. Well, we say, I’m great at telling my spouse what to do and how to do it to fix any situation! Uh-huh. That’s why communication is one of the biggest challenges in marriage relationships. We can all be quick to throw in our “two cents”, but how often do we do so without first carefully and thoughtfully giving consideratio
A valuable technique to add to your "toolbox" for actively listening to your spouse, is to begin to practice "Reflecting". This approach, instead of just repeating what the speaker is telling you, let's you recreate their messages to you in terms of emotions or feelings about what is being communicated. Using reflecting accomplishes several things: 1.) It allows the speaker to 'hear' their own thoughts and to focus on not only what is being said, but how the emotions behind
Another key part of active listening is providing feedback to the speaker to let them know you are actually tuned in, hearing and taking in what is being conveyed. The point here is to provide positive reinforcement and encouragement without interrupting the speaker. We can do this by employing "minimal encouragers". Remember, active listening is all about building rapport. To do that, show you are engaged in listening with brief, positive prompts (minimal encouragers) to
Often, when our spouse approaches us to “talk”, they really are asking us to listen. The learned capacity for practicing “active listening” is often the key to addressing some very particular need or issue. Active listening is all about building rapport, understanding and trust – all things that will vastly improve any relationship! So how do we become active in our listening? Our first tip: Restating. To show you are listening, repeat every so often what you think the pe