By using empathic listening techniques, you will be able to hear a lot more than what a person is saying. In fact, you’ll actually “hear” if a person is holding something back or if they are simply overcompensating for something.
To develop your empathic listening skills and apply them for better communication, read on!
Empathic Listening Technique # 1: Allow Others to Dominate.
Usually, you feel a little put off when you lose yourself in a conversation. You get upset when you find yourself unable to share your opinion on something.
However, allowing others to run the conversation is actually a good thing. After all, you’re not there to talk about yourself; you’re there to listen with the ear of your heart.
The less you focus on yourself, the more you’ll be able to listen clearly. In relationships, you need to give that other person more opportunities to talk. Remember: It’s not just about you.
Empathic Listening Technique # 2: Ask Questions.
Asking questions is a crucial part of effective communication. When the conversation reaches a standstill, you can steer the direction along to help the other person understand their feelings a little more.
Ask open-ended questions like how, what, why, when and where. You can also ask reflective questions. How do reflective questions work?
For example, your friend admits that he doesn’t trust his co-workers anymore. In this case, you repeat his statement and gently push him to reflect on it. You can say something like, “You said that you don’t trust your co-workers. May I ask you why?”
Throwing his own words back at him allows him to really connect with his own thoughts and feelings; and as a result, allow you a better glimpse of him as well.
This is quite important especially when you are entertaining a client. Asking questions could lead to answers the client might have forgotten to share.
Empathic Listening Technique # 3: Reflect After Everything.
Once the person has said everything he needs to say, it’s now your turn to talk about how his problem or issues seemed like to you.
By offering your own take on the situation, you are opening up the conversation for a deeper discussion. This also encourages the person to take another look at himself from a different set of eyes. Whether you are in a personal or professional situation, reflection is always a good way to end things.
Empathic listening techniques are very important. Don’t underestimate the power of listening!