Learning to Listen - Week 3
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 keep the conversation going and let your spouse know you really are listening. For example: "Yeah....", "Oh?", "I understand.", "Then....?" or "And...?".
One word of caution - avoid rote or automatic responses (such as the classic "uh-huh") without really listening. Those will defeat the goal of actively listening and engaging your spouse in real conversation. Most probably, you will just frustrate the speaker and end the chat on a negative note.