What is empathetic listening?

2018 is the year of me learning how to listen well. This is what I’ve learnt so far about empathetic listening.

Jaya Ramchandani
Jul 16, 2018 · 4 min read

Seek to understand, before being understood

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Photo by Trung Thanh on Unsplash

Let’s understand what’s not empathetic listening

What’s the need or purpose of empathetic listening?

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, You have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me ‘why’ I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen; Not talk, nor do — just hear me.

And I can do for myself — I’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me, that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness.

But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I quit trying to convince you and can get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.

When that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.

Perhaps that’s why prayer works sometimes for some people; because God is mute, and doesn’t give advice to try to ‘fix’ things. He/She just listens, and lets you work it out for yourself.

So please listen, and just hear me, and if you want to talk, Wait a minute for your turn, and I’ll listen to you.

Anon

Empathetic listening is hard to do

Imagine a butter knife inserted into a stream of water

If you are framing a response when the other is speaking, you are not listening

We Learn, We Grow

I am a researcher and educator passionate about learning…

Jaya Ramchandani

Written by

Curious about #learning and #education? So am I! Come learn, grow, and act with me

We Learn, We Grow

I am a researcher and educator passionate about learning, science & society, and interdependent mental models. I write on #learning #science #philosophy #society #knowledge #natureculture and their intersections.

Jaya Ramchandani

Written by

Curious about #learning and #education? So am I! Come learn, grow, and act with me

We Learn, We Grow

I am a researcher and educator passionate about learning, science & society, and interdependent mental models. I write on #learning #science #philosophy #society #knowledge #natureculture and their intersections.

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