Aug 12, 2010

Active Listening Benefits

Active Listening Benefits

Here is a list of some of the main benefits of using Active Listening.

1. It is your check on the accuracy of your listening.

2. It shows the sender that you are interested in him/her.

3. It proves to the sender that not only have you heard, you have understood.

4. It tells the sender you can accept him/her as a troubled person.

NOTE: The key word is accept (i.e., the sender's behaviors are in the top of the Behavior Window), not agree with. You can accept his/her having a feeling you might not have or a thought you don't agree with.

5. It gives the sender a chance to ventilate, to feel relieved, to have catharsis. When feelings are expressed and accepted, they lose their grip on the person and become less disabling. When held in, feelings tend to remain strong and fester (as opposed to a popular fear that if one listens to and accepts another's feelings, those feelings will get out of hand).

6. Active Listening fosters others doing their own problem definition and problem solving. It keeps the responsibility with the sender, yet the listener remains involved. The sender holds onto the ball.

7. It relieves "emotional flooding" and frees the intellect to get back to work.

8. It fosters the sender moving from superficial to the deeper, more basic problem.

9. It avoids fastening onto and "solving" the "presenting problem".

10. It helps the sender deal with feelings, not just the facts.

11. Active Listening frequently fosters the sender's insights--new ways of seeing things, new attitudes, new behaviors, new understanding of self.

12. It fosters the sender being more open and honest with you--more willing to use you as a helping agent.

13. It promotes a more intimate and warm relationship. The sender feels warm and positive toward the listener. The listener better understands the sender and feels more positive toward him/her.

14. It helps the sender grow toward being an internal problem-solver, toward being less dependent on others for solutions, toward being more self-responsible, more self-directing; master of his/her own fate or destiny.*

*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's F.E.T. Adult Resource Book

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