Good Listening

LISTENING

…a guide for mentors

  • BE INTERESTED and show it ~ it encourages others to speak freely.
  • PAY ATTENTION! Try and understand the viewpoints and beliefs that are expressed.
  • DON’T JUMP to conclusions. Let others explain fully. Don’t plan your response while they are talking.
  • ATTEND to the main idea. Avoid being distracted by details and dragging unimportant points into a discussion.
  • WATCH for the other person’s attitude and needs. There are many who talk to relieve their own anxieties. It is the feeling, not the content that is the main message for them.
  • DON’T ALLOW YOUR OWN PREJUDICES and emotional reaction to distort what the other is saying.
  • LOOK at the other person. A smile, shrug, nervous laugh, facial expressions and positions of the body often reveal a great deal about what someone really means.
  • DON’T INTERRUPT or be a ‘reactive listener’ by trying to take over the conversation or ‘top’ the other person’s story.
  • KEEP YOUR TEMPER and avoid emotional words such as ‘stupid’, ‘dumb’ or ‘foolish’.
  • LISTENING does not mean waiting for your turn to talk. Do not plan your own response during someone else’s time to express themselves. You may miss something important ~ to you and to them.
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