Listening workshops can help care professionals – and us, to listen better. Effective, or Active listening might be described as ‘deliberate listening without passing judgement’. It means reminding yourself constantly that your aim is to truly hear what the other person is saying.
This means parking all other thoughts and setting aside behaviours that might be distracting you and avoiding thinking about your reply, so really concentrating on the person and their message.
The workshops offer tried and tested exercises, games and reflective discussions to help participants listen better.
In subsequent impact measurement, a participant nurse reported that not only his work, but also his marriage had improved as a result; another carer said she was now able to build a detailed care plan for someone with dementia who had no friends or family left alive.
We asked residents to share any outcomes they had noticed. One spoke of feeling more valued, “being listened to makes you feel that what you have to say is worth something”. Sorry, what’s that you said?