What is Active Listening?

Active Listening, ultimately, is about allowing another person to speak and having them feel heard.  it is not a chance to compare stories, give advice or sympathy, or gossip.  Additionally, the person's feelings are the central issue, not the actual situation or actions that led to the person's feelings.

The skills you will learn in this module will provide the foundation of any tought conversation about any issue you have this year, and being a good listener is one of the most important and powerful things you can do for your residents.

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Key Terms:

Active Listening is way to understanding a person's feelings without judgment

SOLER: Square, Lean Forward, Eye Contact, Relaxed Body Language

Open-ended questions: An open-ended question requires more than a simple, brief response. They encourage the speaker to elaborate. These questions are particularly helpful in clarifying the speaker's feelings when the emotional content of a message is unclear to you. Eg. "How does that make you feel?" "How would you like things to be different?"

Closed-ended questions: A closed-ended question is one that has a limited set of possible short answers, like "yes" or "no." You can use this type of question to clarify a fact when you are unsure if you have understood the message. However, these type of questions do not encourage conversation.

Summarize: Pulling together everything that has transpired thus far in the conversation and verbalizing any pattern in the narration.

Reflective listening: Begins with thinking reflectively. This requires continual awareness that what you think the speaker means might not be what they really mean.

Paraphrasing: Infers the meaning of what is said. It is a hypothesis as to what the speaker means and a statement of what you understand they are saying.

Repeating: Is restating very nearly what the speaker has said.

Rephrasing: Is staying close to what the speaker has said, but changing the words to your own.

OARS(E): Open-ended questions, Affirm the person, Reflect what the person says, Summarize, Empower change and Problem Solving

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Check Out These Additional Active Listening Resources!

1. 10 helpful tips
2. Another 10 tips

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