The Anthony Approach

The Anthony Approach by Anthony Shaheen,
Clay County Extension Educator/
Community Innovation & Leadership Hello, my name is Anthony Shaheen, and I am the Clay County Extension Educator for Community Innovation & Leadership. I have been in this position for six months and will be submitting news columns to the Plain Talk so look for them in future editions. My monthly article will provide you with updates on my projects in Clay County and surrounding communities. Its purpose is to also provide you with information that you will find helpful in your professional and/or personal life. This monthâ�?�?s article will be the first of three articles briefly discussing different listening styles. As we all know communication, effective communication, is vital in all avenues of life. Here are some tips for addressing different listening types. When people consider communication, they usually think about their skills as speakers and rarely consider listening as part of the process. A study of over 8,000 people employed in businesses, hospitals, universities, and government agencies found that virtually all of the respondents believed that they communicate as effectively as or more effectively than their co-workers. However, research shows that though people spend 75 percent of their time listening, the average person listens at only about 25 percent efficiency. While most people agree that listening effectively is a very important skill, most people don't feel a strong need to improve their own skill level. Below are several types of listening responses that go from passive to active. Though different, they all have a time and place to be used effectively. Silent listening Remaining silent is usually interpreted as interest and concern on the part of the listener. Often, saying nothing is enough encouragement for people to continue talking especially people who are venting or grieving. However, if the listener is silent for too long, the speaker begins to wonder if the listener is really listening. Confirmation responses from the listener (nodding head, a closed question, or saying â�?�?go onâ�?�?) let the speaker know that the listener is listening, without influencing the speaker. Questioning Questioning can either be open or closed. An open question explores a person's statement without requiring a simple `yes' or `no' answer (as with a closed question). The difference between an open question and a closed question is what they provide the person being asked. When asked an open question, the speaker thinks more about their intended message. (A closed question is less likely to provide this). For example, the speaker might say, “I don't like that idea.'' The listener might respond, “What about the idea don't you like?'' or, “Tell me your ideas regarding the situation.'' This is a good form of listening for a person taking directions or when a speaker is emotional. Paraphrasing To paraphrase, one simply rewords what another individual has said. Paraphrasing helps to make sure that the listener is receiving the intended message and can help the speaker to realize where they are not being clear. For example, the speaker might say, “She was foolish to quit her job.'' The listener might respond, “So you are saying that you believe she shouldn't have quit.'' Paraphrasing is obviously more effective than telling a person that you do not understand or that they do make any sense, as that will only aggravate the speaker and create noise in the channel. This is the second of three articles briefly discussing different listening styles. As we all know communication, effective communication, is vital in all avenues of life. Here are some tips for addressing different listening types. Empathizing When we listen empathetically (understanding their pain), we go beyond sympathy (feeling bad for someone) to seek a truer comprehension of how the speaker is feeling. This requires the listener to discriminate the words and interpret nuances of emotional signals. In order to get speakers to self-disclose, listeners needs to demonstrate empathy in their response. Empathy will create a sense of trust where the speaker is more likely to reveal their true meaning and feelings. This is an appropriate response, especially in early stages of trying to build long-term professional and personal relationships. Supporting In supportive listening, the listener has a purpose of not only empathizing with the speaker but also to use this deep connection in order to help the speaker understand, change or develop in a way they have revealed. The listener does not place judgment on the information or give advice, merely supports the value attached and the actions the speaker will do. This response is active but does not involve much insight from the listener. It may be used in casual relationships. Analyzing This not only happens when you go to see a therapist but also in many social situations, where friends and family seek to both diagnose the information from listening but without providing advice. Instead the listener tries to help the speaker understand the information and meaning. Resources: Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication (Paperback) by Ronald B. Adler, Lawrence B. Rosenfeld, Russell F. Proctor. Oxford University Press 2006

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>