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Empathic Listening

Updated on February 27, 2015

It is the power to understand deeply and completely, both emotionally and intellectually what the other person expresses, not only with our ears, but with our heart; it should be done with an attentive hearing, before trying to be understood.

In other words, it is putting yourself in the place of the other, to better experience his views and beliefs. In fact, you should keep in mind that empathy does not mean that you agree, but that you hear deeply what is being told to you, both with reason and emotion, which leads to the development of the skill of assertiveness.

Most people do not listen with the intention to understand others, but simply for the fact to prepare for an answer or to find an advantageous answer. What we mean with this is that if we want to be understood, we must first understand others as we were listening to our own interests, conflicts and joys.

In communicating with other people, we focus on our own reasons, those that emerge from our own experience, under alleged thoughts, feelings, motives and personal interpretations with which we address the reality within the head and heart of the other person. We want to be understood. Our conversations become collective monologues, and we never really understand what is going on inside another human being.

Among the talks without empathic listening we can include:

• Sports.

• Religion.

• Politics.

There are four levels of listening:

To listen ignoring the speaker, you do not hear at all, you pretend to, and you even use words such as "Yes. Ya. Right."

Selective listening, it has to do with listening to only certain parts of the conversation. Often we do it with the incessant chatter of a toddler.

Careful listening, you pay attention and concentrate your energy on the words being spoken.

Empathic listening, it is the highest listening level where there is a sincere intention to understand the speaker. Empathic communication is truly essential and crucial in our lives, because through this process we define who we are, the assertive power of communication lies in the vast capacity of generating change and action.

Similarly, communication and language define and reveal who you are and with this I mean that they not only define your verbal communication, but also your nonverbal communication; they define you, what you read, what you speak, what you write and above all, they give you a definite value, the ability to listen to generate empathic relationships.

Therefore, the interpretation in communication will be:

• 10% is communicated with words.

• 30% are sounds.

• 60% is body language.

To develop the skills of empathic listening, you should take into account the level of awareness in conversations. Therefore:

• Watch carefully your body position when you listen, is it open, closed, relaxed or disinterested.

• Analyze how your feelings are when you listen, is it of interest, attention or connection.

• What are your perceptions, what do you sense and how are your emotions in the dialogue.

• Last, ask, inquire and get accurate data for your conversation to be fluid and your communication assertive and effective.

Remember that empathic communication is a possibility to give air and vitality to the relationship, since there are two people communicating freely and openly to create uplifting relationships free of arrogance where human beings express their communication needs.

In the next conversation you have, spend 100% listening to other people, practice the above steps. Keep in mind that it is essential to understand the feelings, emotions, and reasons of the other person for this person to feel valued, secure, and appreciated by you.



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