Silent listening is staying attentive and responsive nonverbally.
- Right approach when interjections are not appropriate.
- Silent listening can help others solve problems.
Questioning occurs when the listener asks the speaker for additional information.
- Reasons to ask questions: Clarify meanings; Learn about others’ thoughts, feelings, wants (Open questions- allow a variety of responses; Closed questions allow limited answers); Encourage elaboration; Encourage discovery; Gather more facts and details
- Some questions are sincere, that is, aimed at understanding others, whereas counterfeit questions are disguised attempts to send a message rather than receive one (Trap the speaker; Make statements; Carry hidden agendas; Seek “correct” answers; Based on unchecked assumptions)
Paraphrasing is feedback that restates the message the speaker sent.
- Paraphrasing factual information includes summarizing facts, data, and details during personal or professional conversation.
- Paraphrasing personal information includes thoughts, feelings and wants.
Empathizing is a response style used to show that the listener is identifying with the speaker.
- Identifies with the speaker's emotions and perceptions more than paraphrasing.
- Offers less evaluation and agreement than supporting responses.
- Listeners are not empathizing when they display the following behaviors: Denying others the right to their feelings; Minimizing the significance of the situation; Focus on yourself; Raining on the speaker’s parade.
Supporting responses reveal the listener's solidarity with the speaker’s situation; they consist of the following types: agreement, offers to help, praise, reassurance, and diversion.
- When support is beneficial: When the expression of support is sincere; When the other person can accept your support; When focusing on “here and now” rather than “then and there”; Make sure you’re reading for consequences
Analyzing is when the listener offers an interpretation of the speaker's message.
- Offer interpretation in a tentative way
- A reasonable chance of being correct.
- Make sure that the other person will be receptive.
- Ensure motive for analysis is to truly help the other person.
- Evaluating responses are when the listener appraises the speaker's thoughts or behaviors; may be favorable or unfavorable.
- Advising is the most common reaction to another's problem and may be helpful or harmful.
- Not helpful when: Doesn’t offer the best suggestion about how to act; Being in position of “advice recipient” is potentially unwelcome identity; Allows others to avoid responsibility for their decisions; People often don’t want advice or not ready to accept it.
- Consider: Is advice needed?; Is advice wanted?; Is advice given in right sequence?; Is advice coming from an expert?; Is advisor a close and trusted friend?; Is advice offered in a sensitive, face-saving manner?
- The appropriate listening style to use depends upon the situation, taking into consideration the situation, the other person, and yourself.