Active listening


Active listening: more than just paying attention.
Robertson K
Communication skills courses are an essential component of undergraduate and postgraduate training and effective communication skills are actively promoted by medical defence organisations as a means of decreasing litigation. This article discusses active listening, a difficult discipline for anyone to practise, and examines why this is particularly so for doctors. It draws together themes from key literature in the field of communication skills, and examines how these theories apply in general practice.

11 Ways That Active Listening Can Help Your Relationships
Put active listening together with empathy to improve your relationships
Posted Mar 13, 2012
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., ABPP

Active-empathic listening as a general social skill:
Evidence from bivariate and canonical correlations.
Communication Reports, 24, 86-98. doi:10.1080/08934215.2011.610731
Gearhart, C. C., & Bodie, G. D. (2011).
This study attempts to provide further validity evidence for a scale that measures the tendency to enact active-empathic listening (AEL), one type of listening noted as especially important in close relationships and associated contexts like supportive episodes. In particular, we investigated the degree to which AEL is empirically related to various general social skills that reflect interaction competencies such as emotional sensitivity.

Strong correlations between a measure of AEL and four of the six social skill dimensions measured by the social skills inventory (SSI) provide validity evidence for this scale. The paper concludes with a discussion of future research possibilities.

The Active-Empathic Listening Scale (AELS): Conceptualization and Evidence of Validity Within the Interpersonal Domain
Graham D. Bodie
Pages 277-295 | Published online: 10 Jun 2011
Although several theoretical perspectives highlight the importance of listening, our field has largely neglected developing valid listening measures. The purpose of this article is to provide a conceptualization and measurement of one type of listening important to relational and individual well-being: active-empathic listening. Results from two studies provide evidence of construct validity of a self- and other-report version of the Active-Empathic Listening Scale. The discussion focuses on directions for future research using this scale and for the need to develop additional measures that tap components of listening.

Active Listening in Peer Interviews: The Influence of Message Paraphrasing on Perceptions of Listening Skill
Harry Weger Jr. ,Gina R. CastleMelissa C. Emmett
Pages 34-49 | Published online: 06 Jan 2010
Perhaps no communication skill is identified as regularly as active listening in training programs across a variety of disciplines and activities. Yet little empirical research has examined specific elements of active listening responses in terms of their effectiveness in achieving desired interpersonal outcomes. This study reports an experiment designed to test the influence of a specific element of active listening responses, namely, the message paraphrase. 

One hundred and eighty undergraduate students participated in peer interviews in which they received either a paraphrased reflection or a simple acknowledgement in response to their expressed opinions regarding comprehensive examinations. The results of data analysis indicated that message paraphrases were associated with the social attractiveness of the listener but were not associated with participants' conversational satisfaction or perceptions of feeling understood by the listener.

Active Listening and Counselor Self-Efficacy
Emphasis on One Microskill in Beginning Counselor Training
Dana Heller Levitt PhD, NCC
Pages 101-115 
By emphasizing active listening over the other microskills, it is hypothesized that beginning counselors will feel more efficacious and better able to hear clients, thus performing better in skill areas. In this pilot study with five Master's-level counselor trainees in their first counseling practicum, an emphasis on active listening in instruction and individual supervision resulted in increases in active listening and self-efficacy ratings, as well as performance in three skill areas (reflection of feelings, challenging, and immediacy). These results suggest the importance of attending to counselors' strengths and reducing anxiety in the first counseling experience.

Active Empathetic Listening and Selling Success: A Conceptual Framework
Lucette B. Comer &Tanya Drollinger
Pages 15-29 | Published online: 24 Oct 2013
This paper expands on past conceptual models of listening and delineates the attributes of effective listening in the sales encounter. It argues that the most effective level of listening combines empathy with the techniques of active listening. Empathy is defined as the ability to discern another person's thoughts and feelings with some degree of accuracy and involves listening on an intuitive as well as a literal level. A set of propositions is posited that describe how active empathetic listening can facilitate the personal selling process. Suggestions to improve the quality of salespeople's listening are given.