It seems obvious that counselors would be good listeners; however, the importance of developing our listening skills is often overlooked because we think that it is easy to be a good listener. Being an active listener is a skill that requires effort and practice. You can’t apply all of your other counseling skills until you become a good listener. Below are some tips to improve your listening skills.
- Be in the moment. This is good advice for all of life, but when you are with a client you owe it to them to be 100% focused on them. That means that you have to take all of your personal issues and put them away. During that session, nothing matters outside of that session.
- Listen not only to what is said, but how it is said. One of the problems with email and text messaging is that you don’t get the tone in which it is said and it can be misinterpreted. If you are completely focused on them during the session, then you shouldn’t have any difficulty picking up the tone in which something is said. (more…)