Mar 30, 2011

14 Benefits of Active Listening

Here is a list of some of the main benefits of using Active Listening:
  1. Is it your check on the accuracy of your listening
  2. It shows the sender that you are interested in him or 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 keyword here 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 is 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 a 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 or 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 or her own fate or destiny.
These are only a few of the many benefits that Active Listening can do for your relationships. Thought of another one that isn't listed here? Leave a comment!

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