Active Listening Essential for Wellness
Professionals – at Work and Home
day at work — placing others people’s problems into
perspective — you may be faced with communication conflicts
home as well. For that reason, effective communication is a must!
Stephen M. Horowitz, Ph.D., who at the time achieved FAWHP status,
activelistening is a very important component of communication. Active
listening, said Horowitz, "defuses anger by acknowledging the emotion
and it allows you to decide whether or not you want to ‘buy
into’ someone else’s momentary craziness."
when people come to you, they’re hostile," said Horowitz
"Managing Conflict at Home and in the Workplace: Strategies for the
Next Millennium" at an annual conference of the former Association for
Worksite Health Promotion. "Active listening clarifies and allows you
to step back ... It should be the first step."
just responding to what people have said to you, get a feel for what
the emotion is that is being expressed in their message. A basic
technique offered by Horowitz is to make your response: "You sound
(angry, upset, worried) about (this, that, the other)."
the aforementioned approach allows you to:
the content of the communication using the basic format;
a genuine personal response; and
are some behaviors to avoid as well. Those include:
or premature supporting.
a guide, Horowitz offered the following "Commandments of Stress-Free
shalt be nonjudgmental.
shalt not give personal advice, e.g., "You should ..."
shalt be empathetic.
shalt choose to be assertive when appropriate.
shalt take ownership of your behaviors and the consequences of your
shalt not take responsibility for the other person’s
problems, actions or feelings.
shalt not interrupt, although you may paraphrase when necessary to
shalt listen to the message, not the emotion.
shalt stick with the current situation — don’t
bring up the past.