Rhode Island Resource Directory

A Guide to Services Associated with RI 2-1-1

Active Listening Skills Development

Code: TP-6650.0500

Programs that offer workshops or other forms of training or support that help participants become more sensitive, compassionate and objective listeners. Central concepts include listening to the emotional as well as the factual content of what someone is saying, providing a fresh perspective on a problem or issue by giving feedback, being non-judgmental, and developing empathy i.e., an active understanding of another person's situation and feelings coupled with a strong concern. Participants learn to ask appropriate questions, clarify responses and use listening techniques which help to establish initial rapport, especially in situations when intense emotions block normal channels of communication, help draw out individuals who are hesitant, set appropriate limits, provide helpful, well-structured responses and keep the conversation flowing to its conclusion. Techniques include emotion labeling, reflecting, paraphrasing, effective pauses, minimal encouragers, open-ended questions, "I" messages and consensual validation. Active listening skills are particularly important for people whose work involves communication with individuals who are troubled, but can also be used in a wide variety of other contexts.

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