Conflict Resolution Active Listening
Active Listening Follow these instructions without questions • Fold your sheet of paper 3 Times. • Tear off three corners. • Unfold paper
Active Listening • As we learned previously, empathy is about rapport and openness between people. • When it is absent, people are less likely to consider your needs and feelings. • The best way to build empathy is to help the other person feel that they are understood. That means being an active listener.
Active Listening • Some factors that affect a persons ability or willingness to listen effectively are: • Relationship with speaker • Lack of time • Preoccupation with other matters • Difficulty in dealing with emotions…both yours and theirs • Strong disagreement • Environment • Physical discomfort
Active Listening • Some ways that a person can tell they are being listened to are: • Eye contact • Verbal Responses • Asking relevant questions • Posture • Gestures and/or nods
Active Listening • There are specific styles of listening activities relevant to different situations. These can be considered: • Information • Affirmation • Inflammation.
Active Listening Listening To Gain Information
Active Listening Informational Listening • One of the main reasons we listen is to gain information. • Sometimes conflict can develop because vital information is missing or possibly miscommunicated.
Active Listening Informational Listening • Studies have shown that immediately after people have listened to someone talk, they only remember about half of what they’ve heard.
Active Listening Informational Listening • Then, within 8 hours, they tend to forget ½ to 1/3 more of what they heard. (Studies conducted by the University of Minnesota in 1957)
Active Listening Informational Listening • Too often we rely on others to give us the information we need; or we have too much faith that we are using words in the same way. • We may, in fact, be attaching different meanings or very different pictures to words.
Active Listening Informational Listening • Sometimes conflicts arise because of our differing perceptions of what words mean. For Example: • If you were asked to clean up a particular area, does that mean make it tidy, put things in neat piles, or put things away? • Does it include dusting and vacuuming? • Does it mean moving the furniture or just cleaning what you can see?
Active Listening Informational Listening • All parties in the communication process have a role in making things clear. • By asking questions, it helps you to become more specific. • The more specific you become, the more likely all parties will be happy with the outcome.
Active Listening Informational Listening • It is important to remember these points when asking questions: • How? • Where? • What? • Why? • When?
Active Listening Informational Listening • The way in which a question is constructed determines its usefulness. • Closed questions elicit specific information and are valuable when this is what is required. • For example a closed question might be “Would you like things to be different?” • This might only produce a Yes or No answer.
Active Listening Informational Listening • Open questions encourage broader exploration of the issue and associated feelings • For example an open question might be “How would you like things to be different?” • This shows an interest in their ideas, and gives us much more of a window into their thinking, which is the foundation for empathy.
Active Listening Informational Listening • Finally be very careful when using the word “why” when using this style of listening. • A question out of context, and blunt such as “Why were you late this morning?" can cause the person to become defensive and shut down. • It is wiser to find a way to turn this into a statement of need such as “It is important that we all report to work on a timely basis. What can we do in the future to ensure that this happens?”
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • What do we mean by giving affirmation to another person? • Acknowledging another person • Making another feel valued • Showing empathy
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • In a conflict situation, often the most important need for another person is to sort out ideas using us as a sounding board. • As well, we may be needing to hear the details of that persons feelings and thoughts to really understand a different perspective. • This helps us to show empathy.
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • There a several skills that show we are listening to others with empathy. • Non-verbal skills such as, eye contact, body posture and using encouraging gestures. • Following skills such as occasional questions and attentive silences; also minimal encouragers such as “mm” and “ah”
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Reflecting skills such as paraphrasing and summarizing; using a tone of voice that that shows warmth or interest. Reflecting back feelings and content.
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Reflecting back feelings and content, in our own words, is the most crucial skill in listening to affirm for the following reasons: • We want to make sure we heard exactly what the other person intended. • To show empathy • To help the other person hear themselves.
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Important Point 1 • Asking too many questions can distract the speaker, and lead in a direction that may be of more interest to the listener. It can be appropriate to ask question, providing they are very closely linked to what the speaker is saying and supportive to the crucial skill of reflecting back.
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Important Point 2 • Good listening empowers speakers. It helps people to verbalize what may have not been clear them before. People can usually find their own answers. They are more likely to put their own plans into action than someone else’s well intentioned advice
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Important Point 3 • When people feel listened to, they will talk more freely about themselves. Even well intentioned advising or diagnosing may block this communication.
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Important Point 4 • Active listening may entice people to reveal more of themselves than they are really comfortable doing. They may later be highly embarrassed and distance themselves from the listener. It is important to respect peoples comfort zones in personal communication.
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Important Point 5 • There is a time to actively listen and there is also a time to graciously add in our own perspectives. Always be on the look out for cues from the other person to know when this is appropriate.
Active Listening Listening to give Affirmation • Important Point 6 • Really listening is far more than waiting for our turn to speak. We put so much attention on the other person that our own mental commentary should be turned “off” at that time.
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation • When someone is verbally attacking us we tend to respond in some of the following ways: • We can become defensive • We can become aggressive • We can start arguing in a heated way • We can retreat into ourselves • We can become upset and/or fearful
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation • When we respond in this way some of the outcomes can be: • It often doesn’t lead to a solution or at best only leads to a short term solution. • It may have long term detrimental effects on the relationship. • It may result in feeling drained, upset or downtrodden. • It may increase the likelihood of this pattern repeating itself.
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation • Remember, when there is a conflict, it is common to blame the other person or to become extremely defensive. • It is very difficult to be objective when the emotional level is high. • Active listening is an effective tool to reduce the emotion involved in a situation.
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation Point 1 • This active listening technique is very valuable when we are receiving non-verbal gestures of anger. Some examples might be: • Turning away • Rolling the eyes • Pointing fingers
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation Point 2 • Always remember that there is great value in allowing angry people to be really heard whether or not we feel their attacks are justified.
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation Point 3 • First we need to bring down the emotional heat and avoid making statements of attack or defense that would cause the crisis to escalate.
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation Point 4 • Once we fully understand the problem, we can respond more effectively. This may include pointing out errors of fact or interpretation. This being different than defense and counterattack.
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation Point 5 • The aim is to improve communication in the relationship, with both people hearing and being heard. Once tempers are calmer, then real communication can begin. • Staying calm during a personal attack takes skill. This is a skill which can be learned and needs persistent practice.
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation Point 6 • The point of change in a conflict is the point where communication begins. • At this stage, the discussion can turn to: • What do you need, not need? • What do I need, not need? • Can we fulfill these needs?
Active Listening Listening To Deal With Inflammation Point 7 • Your ultimate goal in this type of scenario is: • To turn down the heat in the situation, allowing you to move from being opponents, to working in partnership with the other person to achieve the desired goal.
Credit • We wish to thank the Conflict Resolution Network for their generous donation of materials used in the creation of this presentation. • Conflict Resolution Network PO Box 1016, Chatswood NSW 2057Phone: +61 (0)2 9419-8500Fax: +61 (0)2 9413-1148Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.crnhq.org
Credit • This course was created by AMFA Local 11 to assist in the education of its Professional Standards Committee members. • Permission to use this material is granted to any AMFA Local. • This course was created using materials provided by The Conflict Resolution Network. Permission has been extended to use this material providing credit remains intact on all modules.