Learn to be a Listener

At Child’s Voice, we are experts at teaching children with hearing loss auditory skill development and development of spoken language communication, in a nutshell how to LISTEN AND TALK.

But how well do we all listen? Here are four things we can do to help us become better listeners according to research regarding types of listening that are helpful for others.

  1. Good listening starts with an “unconditional positive regard.” We value and respect others just for being. Whether we approve or disapprove of what they do, we just appreciate them as people.
  2. Good listening involves empathy. We need to sense and understand what others feel as they talk. We have to be aware of the emotional content of what we are listening to.
  3. We have to accept the feelings and thoughts of others as being as legitimate as our own. We might not feel angry in the same situations, but we need to accept their anger as it is. And although we may not interpret something the same way, that doesn’t make either side right or wrong. We all have an equal right to our own emotions and view of things.
  4. To be a good listener we need to communicate our unconditional positive regard, empathy and acceptance. This is also called ‘reflective listening’. “I hear you saying …” or, “It sounds like you feel…” are two of the phrases we can use to communicate our active listening.
  5. According to Dr. Ken Potts of Samaritan Counseling Center in Naperville, we aren’t born good listeners. Listening is a skill we learn through training and practice.

This type of listening is the adult version of what our children at Child’s Voice are learning.

Listen… it is amazing what we can hear.
Dr. Michele