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Effective Listening Strategies

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1108
  • Category: Listening

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The first article I read was called “Active Listening Skills”. This article provided helpful information with helping clients improve the quality of his or her life. When a client knows that the interviewer is listening he or she will feel respected and appreciated. The article shows the importance of listening in order to get the client to respond to us positively and on a deeper level. The article states there are different ways of listening. The article states we should have active participation by facing the client, maintaining eye contact, focus solely on what the client is saying, and respond appropriately. This article also states we should use reflective listening. When we restate what the client just said it will show him or her we are listening, and this will provide them the opportunity to open up and talk more. The article also states that we should stop other distractions such as, looking through papers when the client is speaking. When reading this article I learned that facing the client, sitting up straight, or leaning forward will show the client we are attentive. I also learned if we maintain eye contact this will show the client we are interested in what he or she is saying. If we use the words um-hmm, I see or raise our eyebrows this will prompt the speaker to continue talking. I can apply what I learned from this article to my everyday life by focusing solely on what a person is saying to me.

I have learned I should not let anything distract me, so they will know they have my undivided attention. I already make eye contact with a person when he or she is speaking to me so that will not change. These are strategies I will use in my practice, because I want my client to receive the best services for his or her current situation. I feel these strategies will be effective and help me to become a better listener. The second article I read was “Timely Advising: Incorporating Counseling Skills into the Advising Appointment”. This article is about a student who comes into the financial aid office for some assistance. The student is running late and is not familiar with the appropriate steps. There is also a good chance she is upset and impatient. The student goes to the front desk where she is ushered impatiently to a teller who does not have the patience to deal with her, he purses his lips and send her to the director for a signature. The director does not give the student his undivided attention because he is on his cell phone, and ready to lock his office for the day. The student receives the director’s signature and takes it to the secretary who is warm. The secretary files the student’s forms, smiles at her, chats with the student, and then wishes her a good evening.

This article included “Utilizing Relevant Counseling Skills and Techniques”. The articles states the advisors should use active listening this way they will be able to understand what the student is going through, and help her formulate and implement solutions. The article also states using verbal and nonverbal encouragers will help the student feel like part of the conversation, and this will make him or her open up more. The article also states summarizing and paraphrasing the student’s feelings and statements will help the student feel understood, and this makes them willing to provide more information. The article also states body language of the student and advisor is significant communication. If a student is telling you they are comfortable, but cannot keep still in his or her chair this body language will show they are uncomfortable, and give you the opportunity to turn the conversation into another direction. The article states asking questions, paying attention to nonverbal language will open conversation to feedback and reflection.

Maintaining open posture and facing the student can communicate interest in the conversation, and reading the student’s body language to see if he or she is open, and engaged or closed and disinterested can guide the questions an adviser asks.(Ivey et.al., 2010, pp. 130-133). I learned nonverbal communication is an important aspect to effective listening. I agree with what was presented in this article. I learned listening to the students is just as important as giving them advice. When showing the students they matter it will make the student confident the advisor can help them. I also learned being aware of things around the environment can have a great impact on the situation. If a person is not comfortable in the current environment the experience will not be effective. I also learned asking open-ended questions can be used as a tool to guide the conversation in the right direction. These strategies are something I can use in mu daily life.

They are effective and something I can use in my practice. The third article I read was “Quality of a Good Counselor” this article states you should be patient, observant, warm, good listener, knowledgeable, have empathy, personal integrity, confidentiality, and maintain a therapeutic relationship with a client. These article states skills needed as a counselor. Active listening is where you listen to what the client is saying and focusing your attention on the person. Attending Behavior is where you greet the client politely to make him or her feel comfortable. Maintaining eye contact to show the client you are interested in the conversation. The article states you should ask open-ended questions instead of closed-ended questions. When asking closed-ended questions it will only require the client to answer in a yes or no response.

Asking open-ended questions the client will give a complete and detailed answer. Summarize and Paraphrase what the client said in your own words to show you were listening to what the client was saying. After reading this article I thought it gave valid points, and helpful information for effective listening. This article provided strategies I can use in my everyday life. It will help me become a better listener when having a conversation with my daughter and fiancé. I also learned from the readings you should interrupt the speaker when they are talking. The strategies I have read will help me in my practice. I now know how to be a better listener.


Ivey, A. E., Ivey, M. B., & Zalaquett, C. P. (2010). Intentional interviewing and counseling: Facilitating client development in a multicultural society (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Martn, A (2013), Active listening skills. Retrieved from http://www.thecounsellorsguide.co.uk/activelisteningskills.html Qualities of a good counselor.(n.d). Retrieved from http://www.cerafrica.org/ Ftpfolder/website%20materials/health/KCN-Health-CER/Unit3/004.html

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