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Formation Document
Active/Reflective Listening
 

 


Ban HL


Reflective listening is a two-fold process which involves: 

1. Really hearing and understanding what the other person is saying through words and body language, and 

2. Reflecting feelings and thoughts you heard through your own words, tone-of-voice, body posture and gesture so that the other person knows he or she is understood.

Reflective listening skills can be grouped into three clusters, as follows:

Skill Cluster
 
Specific Skills
 
1. Attending Skills Contact
Posture
Gestures
Environment
 
2. Following Skills Door-Openers
Acknowledgment Responses
Active Silence
Open-ended Questions
 
3. Responding Skills Paraphrasing
Reflecting Feelings
Reflecting Meanings
Summarizing


1. ATTENDING SKILLS

Attending is giving physical and psychological attention to another in a communication situation. Effective attending conveys non-verbally that the listener is interested and is paying careful attention to the other - that the listener cares!

2. FOLLOWING SKILLS

DOOR-OPENERS

A door-opener is a non-coercive invitation extended to another to talk--an invitation to get started, to say something about what he or she is thinking or feeling. 

Some examples of door-openers are:

1. Would you like to talk about it?
2. Can I be of any help with this problem?
3. Id be interested to hear how you feel.
4. Would it help to talk about it?
5. Sometimes it helps to get it off your chest.
6. Ive got the time if you have. Want to talk?
7. Hi, Joe. You appear a little glum.
8. You seem happy. Id like to hear about it.
9. Is something bothering you?
10. You seem upset. Care to talk about it?

OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS

An open-ended question is one which allows another to answer in any way or in any depth he or she chooses. This kind of question does not invite yes or no or a short response. 

Open-ended questions can assist the other in exploring aspects of himself or herself that were not initially available to the conscious mind. 

Closed-ended questions, on the other hand, tend by their nature, to limit the other to short responses. Closed-ended questions usually begin with are, do, is, where, did, was, here, or why. Questions of this type probe for motives or justifications, and therefore tend to promote a defensive reaction in another. Closed-ended questions should be avoided when practicing reflective listening techniques. 

Examples of some open-ended questions are:

1. What are you feeling about that?
2. Could you tell me some more about that?
3. Whats on your mind, Joe?
4. Could you give me an example?
5. Could you fill me in a little more about ... ?
6. Can you say some more about ... ?
7. How was that for you?

3. RESPONDING SKILLS

This involves listening accurately to another person and reflecting the main points of the others communication in a concreter, brief, and concise manner. 

Paraphrasing

the act of saying back to the speaker your own words what you heard the person say. Could paraphrase content or meaning.

Reflective Feelings

listening accurately to another person and reflecting the emotional state of the person in your own words.

Reflecting Meanings

listening accurately and reflecting both the content and the feeling of the other.

The reflecting meanings and feelings are ways to check your perception of the speaker so that s/he feels connected with you: Some examples:

1. I wonder if ...                                 
2. It seems to me that youre saying / might be feeling ...
3. I get the impression that ...

   

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