basics of active communication

this is important for both who is listening and who needs to be listened to. in this society it’s still very hard to talk about sexual assault, violence or sex.  one of the things that people need the most, at least in my experience, is someone to talk to without telling them what to do…

Active Listening

  • Attending: Pay attention to the person, be there without interfering or interrupting.
  • Paraphrasing: Use the caller’s words to condense and summarize what the listener is hearing.
  • Restating
  • Clarifying: Use questions and statements to see if the listener and caller are in agreement about the content and feel of the conversation.
  • Summarizing: Review what was talked about.

 important things to know the answer to:

  • is there any way i can help?
  • Are you venting or do you want my help?
  • Are you upset with me or just angry/frustrated/upset?
  • What do you need/want right now?
  • Can you tell me what that means to you?
  • What do you think I said?
  • Here is what I think you said, is that right?

 some keys to effective communication

  • Avoid “How are you?” We all know the answer to this-even if we are dying, we are fine. Try “Tell me about what has gone on with you today?” or some other open-ended question.
  • it’s difficult for a good, productive conversation can occur if you or the other person is too hungry, tired, distressed or sick.
  • There is no magic to good listening. Ask when you don’t understand. Reflect back emotions.

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