Listening Skills

None of us are perfect, we live busy lives, often juggling many mental processes  at once. We try our best to listen to those we are supporting but sometimes we may fall short.

Honing in on listening skills can really help us offer more effective support. The photos bellow are adapted from a list by the Bloemfontein Samaritans. I discovered them as part of my breastfeeding specialist training and adapted them to share with you all 🙂 

This series of images is  about listening skills and what it looks like when you are listening and when you are not

I believe they are applicable to all situations, in all interactions with others, what ever your role is within that moment. I find these helpful in all my roles, from health care professional to babywearing consultant. 
I hope that with awareness ( and practice) we can strive to be aware of our flaws and do better for those we interact with on a professional and personal level. 

You are not listening when… 

You say you understand before you know me well enough.

You have an answer for my problem before I have finished telling you what it is.

You sense that my problem is embarrassing and you try to avoid it.

You are dying to tell me all your experiences which make mine seem unimportant.

You need to feel successful You come up with all the clever answers which have little to do with me.

You cut me off before I have finished speaking.

You are trying to sort out all the details and are not aware of the feelings behind the words.

You are listening when… 

You come quietly into my world and let me be.

You try to understand me when I do not make much sense.

You hold back your desire to give me advice.

You don’t take my problem from me but trust me to deal with it my own way.

You give me enough room to discover for myself why I feel upset and enough time to think for myself what is best.

You allow me the dignity of making my own decisions even though you may think I am wrong.

You don’t tell me that funny story you are just burning to tell.

You realise that how I take from you leaves you a bit tired and drained.

You grasp my point of view even when it goes against your sincere convictions.

You spend a short valuable time with me and make me feel it is forever.

Optional activity 

I invite you to have a look through them & reflect upon how they make you feel.
Do they ring true to you?
Do any remind you of a recent interaction?
Is there anything you will try to apply to your our skill set?
​Are there any you would add?

There is no need to share your thoughts, but naturally, I’d love to hear them.

Post activity thoughts.. 
We are not aiming to be free from our flaws, only aware of them so we can notice them in the moments that matter the most. When will you next give the gift of listening?
This blog piece forms part of my Slingababy consultancy project, we are tasked with sharing good quality information to benefit the whole baby wearing community. 
Photo Credit – Alex Cetra Photography 
Woven Wrap – Didymos Arora

1 thought on “Listening Skills”

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