1.1.1 When the Greeks were unable to recognise
individual words and phrases to foreigners. In
this most basic type of listening, for that
reason, there are a couple of reasons why it
might be useful to go back to thinking about
listening at this very basic level.
1.2 Are you listening?
1.2.1 Silence is an important tool for a listener; it’s
hard to listen when you yourself are talking.
For that reason, a good practice to regularly
leave a few seconds of receptive silence
after the speaker has finished before you
respond. This gives you more time to review
what the other person has said.
1.3 What can you hear?
1.3.1 To think about what we hear and don’t hear when we
are listening to someone because it’s not only the
words we are listening to. Some people are better than
others at hearing the subtle emotional nuances in
another person’s speech. If you are not hearing this
emotional tone and colour, then you cannot take it
into account when seeking to understand another
2 2. Empathic Listening
2.1 Listening to connect
2.1.1 A good listener will go beyond the mere
recognition of the emotional tone and
feelings of the speaker, whether they
are sad, confused, angry, frustrated,
hesitant, or excited, you feel some of
what they feel.
2.2 A responsive environment
2.2.1 the idea that it might give you an insight into how your
own words might be received by the other person
2.3 A common starting point
2.3.1 If you are listening empathically to someone, you are trying to
put yourself in their shoes, trying to see the situation as they see
it. You put yourself in their position, you can get a better
understanding of what they are able to see and what is hidden
from them, because you are sharing their state of mind you may
also be able to anticipate how they might perceive any
intervention from you.
3 3. Comprehensive and reflective listening
3.1 Listening to understand
3.1.1 In most cases, as you listen to someone you will
be trying to understand what they are saying. Of
course, this requires a shared vocabulary and
syntax, but it is worth being cautious whenever
you speak to someone new; the words, gestures
and intonations they use may not have the
meanings you assume.
3.2 Being selective
3.2.1 Some words carry more information than others. When you are
trying to understand what someone is saying, you will automatically
attempt to identify the words, phrases, gestures and tones that
carry the most significance. In doing this, there is always a danger
that you are highlighting the wrong things
3.3 Being reflective
3.3.1 Listening is usually a two-way process, where the listener becomes a
mirror, reflecting back what the speaker has said and allowing them to
reflect on the words they have used.
4 4. Interpretive and evaluative listening
4.1 Listening to diagnose
4.1.1 To translate the speaker’s comments into
your own frame of reference. Whenever you
do this it is important to seek confirmation
that you have translated accurately, using
paraphrasing and questioning to check with
the speaker that your interpretation is
correct and acceptable to the speaker.
4.2 Putting things in boxes
4.2.1 The first step to doing this is to become explicitly aware
of the categories you are using. Replay a conversation
either by remembering it or recording it. As you re-hear
the speaker’s comments try to remember how you
classified them at the time
4.3 Weighing things on scales
4.3.1 It is also possible to assign what someone
is saying to categories that are not equally
valid, for example ‘true’ versus ‘false’,
‘something I agree with’ versus ‘something I
dispute’, ‘useful’ versus ‘unhelpful’,
‘constructive’ versus ‘flippant’. In each of
these cases one of the categories has more
value to you than the other.
5 5. Reflexive Listening
5.1 Listening to yourself
5.1.1 Listening is usually a two-way process.
Therefore, as a good listener you should be
listening to both sides of the conversation.
5.2 Listening to your speaking
5.2.1 if you really are listening to your speaking, you will
be aware that you are doing this and can counteract
the effects by summarising at the end in order to
make your eventual purpose clear.
5.3 Listening to your listening
5.3.1 As should be obvious by now, one aspect of good
listening involves being aware of what is going on
inside you as you listen. But beware! You don’t want
to get so involved in listening to your listening that
you forget to listen to the speaker.
6 6. Open and Transformational Listening
6.1 Listening to everything
6.1.1 Is it possible to do all of this listening at the same time? To
listen to everything that’s going on in a conversation?
Donald Schön calls this ‘reflection on action’ leading to
‘reflection in action’. The more you review afterwards, the
better you get at responding during.
6.2 Hearing the whole
6.2.1 Leonard Waks talks about what he calls apophatic
listening in which you immerse yourself fully in the
experience of just listening without trying to decide,
decipher or define. Your whole attention is focused on
taking in everything you can from the speaker, but it just
becomes harder as an adult. In this way, it becomes a
form of creative listening.