Home Relationship With Your Life PartnerHealthy Relationship Relationships: The Art of Listening

Relationships: The Art of Listening

written by Dr. Margaret Paul July 9, 2018
The Art of Listening - Active Listening

Really listening to someone and caring about their feelings is a great gift, but it is important to understand when listening is appropriate and when it is not.

In 1974, Dr. Virginia Satir presented the concept of mirroring in her groundbreaking book, “Conjoint Family Therapy.”

In 1975, Dr. Thomas Gordon wrote a best-selling book called “Parent Effectiveness Training.” In the book he teaches parents to “actively listen,” which means to reflect back to the speaker the feelings and information they are trying to convey.

Mirroring, or active listening, is a powerful tool, but whether or not it works depends upon your intent.

If you are active listening to another with an agenda to get them to see what they are doing wrong, or to get them to listen to you after you listen to them, then your intent in listening is to control. The person you are listening to can easily pick up the energy of control and will get angry or go into resistance. Listening with the intention to control backfires and creates confusion in communication.

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