Empathetic Listening is a technique which can help you manage and avoid disruptive and assaultive behaviors. The foundation of the technique can be summarized in 5 simple steps.
- Provide the speaker with your undivided attention.This is one time “multi-tasking” or “rapid refocus” will get you in trouble.
- Be non-judgemental. Don’t minimize or trivialize the speakers issue.
- Read the speaker. Observe the emotions behind the words. Is the speaker angry, afraid, frustrated or resentful. Respond to the emotion as well as the words.
- Be Quiet. Don’t feel you must have an immediate reply. Often if you allow for some quiet after the speaker has vented, they themselves will break the silence and offer a solution.
- Assure your understanding. Ask clarifying questions and restate what you perceive the speaker to be saying.
Following these procedural steps will place you in a better situation for addressing the key issue.