Calm & Healthy Weblog

Learning to listen

Posted on: May 17, 2008

Learning to Listen – Music to My Ears  Listening
Secrets to Healthy Client/Personal Relationships

There is an art and a science to listening to another human or animal. It doesn’t matter the age of the person whom you’re communicating, coaching or counseling with. Using this skill will improve your self-confidence, inspire your interpersonal relationships and assist clients and businesses to treat each other in a peaceful, loving, respectful manner. Every person wants to truly be listened to.

My first experience of being listened to changed my life. I never anticipated that an initial health interview could set the stage for my career of helping others. I felt, as I shared my challenges with this doctor, that I was listened to on all levels of my being and was heard for the first time in my life. Since the summer of 1979 I’ve been perfecting listening skills.

Learning to Listen

Secret 1. Practice the art of calmness and sensitiveness to all energies. Before working with another person meditate in the morning, and before a session do a few deep-breathing exercises to bring your energy peacefully within yourself. If you have seen someone else before this person, clear all thoughts of their problems or crises from your mind.

Secret 2. When the next person calls or comes through your door, greet the person either at the door with a firm handshake and make eye contact, or if this is a phone consultation always speak with a low, calm, confident voice.

Secret 3. Thank them for coming or calling and ask how you can be of assistance. Assess if this is a medical emergency.  If it is, then send them there immediately. Some people think they would like to avoid the medical bills by coming to you, but this is foolish both for the client and the practitioner. Assure them that after they see the doctor, you would like them to report the findings to you. Be straight forward, clear about your limits and to the point.

Secret 4. If this is not a medical emergency, ask them to tell you their story.  Listen with your heart focused, respectful and loving. Show them by your presence that no one is more important in this moment than this person. Take notes.

Secret 5. Let them talk, only asking questions for clarification when the conversation lags. Don’t interrupt a person’s train of emotional memories and thoughts. This causes them to lose some of their intensity and you lose time and details important to determining the best avenue of care

Secret 6. Recap what you understand the health challenges to be. Go over your notes and impressions before speaking with them. Clarify the situation until both of you are comfortable and clear about how to proceed before suggesting a protocol to the client.

Secret 7. Explain your services, how they may help and where they are comfortable in beginning. Lay out a plan, the costs and method of payment, and time of the next session or consultation. Part of listening is observing and sensing the comfort zone of the person. If the person cannot decide, let them go home and think about it and call you. Set a time for this call to keep the communication clear between you both. People caring enough to listen with their heart builds relationships.

Next article: Finding the comfort zone.

Remember, building trusting relationships is a hallmark of effective listening.

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