How to Listen Well!

A new blog has been posted today, on the SCCR website here. Karen Holford is a great contributor to the SCCR and today she talks about ‘Listening Well’. Karen suggests that firstly we listen with our ears, focusing on what the other person is actually saying, then we should listen with our eyes, giving the other person encouragement and looking for other things that they may be communicating to us, and then we should listen with our minds, thinking about what the other person is saying to us. Finally we should listen with our hearts to identify and empathise with the emotions that are being expressed. The SCCR is currently delivering our 3 Day Untangling the Knot Training in Dundee, and last week we looked at the importance of listening. Perhaps those attending the training could reflect on what listening means to them and post a reply to this discussion? Hopefully Karen’s blog will get us all thinking about how and when we should be listening well!

Listening is as much about hearing as it is understanding. As a listener, you should be expected to make the person feel confident that you are truly taking in everything they are saying. This includes making eye contact, reacting appropriately and taking note of any changes. There are always barriers to listening - the other party may be having a bad day and therefore may not be thinking rationally. It is always important to discover the root of a problem before taking any action.

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Listening for me is about being present and engaged and about showing the other person or people respect. It is also about allowing enough time to explore an issue without constantly going over the same ground - so it is about moving the discussion on at the appropriate time.

I think listening in a professional capacity and listening as a friend are quite different.

In busy or competitive environments there are always people who are more interested in putting forward their own ideas rather than listening to others - for them listening is basically waiting for their turn to speak - if indeed they don’t just interrupt.

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I think I’m a very good listener but get quite frustrated by people who don’t listen and constantly interrupt with their own opinions (in both personal and professional life!). In a personal situation I’d tell the person to shooosht and listen to me not quite as easy in a professional situation though.

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Listening for me, in my support role, is about getting to know that person better this process helps to build trust and shows that I care and want to find out more about their feelings and thoughts to encourages the door to be opened for more conversations down the line. Listening with curiosity to find out more.

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Listening to me means really focusing and paying attention to hearing what the person is saying and also understanding the way the person is saying. My partner is dyspraxic and the way he says things often seems round the wrong way to me and I have to take time ti turn the words around in my head to understand him.

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So last week we had the opportunity to practice the skills of listening, questioning, summarising and reframing. We also looked at some of the conflict dynamics that can be part of a conflict, such as the need to move from positions to interests. Finally we learned about how the chemicals in our bodies, control how we feel physically & mentally and so change our emotions. This week there will be more skills practice and the opportunity for self reflection. It would be great to hear how your learning is impacting your practice. For some the training may be reinforcing what you already know and for others it may be helping you develop new skills. Has your practice changed or do you plan to make some changes?

I am familiar with a lot of what we are exploring during the training however refreshing on the ideas is really valuable. Focusing on my own internal physiological responses and the way in which this impacts on my presentation has been incredibly helpful and increased my self awareness. I am taking time to stop, think, then respond.

Working in the small groups has been helpful too as group members have been very honest and open sharing their experiences at both a professional and personal level.

I remain concerned about being the only king of the lizards even when I re took the quiz I was the same :frowning: However on the second taking I did think that actually my answer wasn’t really in the list! Trying to take it less seriously…

Cath :slight_smile:

answers weren’t - too early…

So our 3 Day Training in Dundee is completed and it’s now down to the participants to self-reflect about how the course went for them and what they plan to do to manage conflict better, helping those that they work with to do the same. The SCCR have posted a blog here by a previous training participant, which may be helpful in guiding participants when they need to reflect on what they have learnt and how they are going to apply their learning. Let us know how how your reflection goes and what you plan to do next! Thanks

Cath, please don’t be concerned about your result of the Monkey vs Lizard quiz. We need both the reflective and reactive thinkers! The way to get to conflict eutopia needs us to able to use different ways of thinking to get to that end point. So yes we do have a default, which is as a result of our experiences but we have the ability to be Monkeys and Lizards…which you can clearly do Cath…your reply above is highly reflective…we’ll need to send you a Monkey Genius badge!

Awww thankyou, I feel much better now and I’d love a Monkey Genius badge!


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