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Practicing Active Listening Can Improve Your Relationship

570 words - 3 pages

Practicing Active Listening Can Improve Your Relationship

I chose this article because it highlights how important listening, especially active listening is in all of our lives regardless of the relationship. If one is using active listening, then you are focusing on who you are listening to, whether it be a group setting or a one on one conversation. The listener should be able to repeat back, in their own words, what the other person has said. This does not necessarily indicate agreement, just that you understand what that person is saying or trying to say.
The article highlights the fact that most people in relationships “think” they are great listeners when this is usually not the case, as well as how developing better listening skills can ...view middle of the document...

The author goes on to lay out exactly what active listening involves.
Active listening, according to the author, “…is, if practiced and mastered, the best gift you can give your partner.” Listening should be more than merely waiting for your turn to speak, it is a skill and activity when used properly. It should give one a better understanding of what the other person’s feelings are and what they are trying to say. Irene Hansen Savarese lists the components of what makes a good and active listener; it is not only an activity but it is also an emotional skill, it shows that you care and respect your partner, and it also involves paying attention to your as well as your partner’s body language. Calming yourself and managing your emotions keeps the focus on what your partner is saying and shows how important what your partner is saying is to you. Calming yourself in this way makes it easier to listen without interrupting. Asking questions is also an excellent listening tool which not only indicates you are listening but that you wish to better understand. Finally being able to summarize or recap ties into asking questions and only reinforces the listener’s desire to better understand what is being communicated.
What this article discusses is how difficult it can be to actually listen when one feels attacked or criticized. The author illustrates how both the speaker and listener have their particular roles and responsibilities during communication. I have had to acknowledge to myself that I am not always the best listener and that I tend to interrupt at times. This is an area that I find interesting because it is one that I realize I need help on, especially if I plan on pursuing a career in counseling. I already feel, as a result of this class and our practice sessions, that I am improving.

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