“Active Listening Skills” was the first article I found interesting. The article delivered a lot of very useful information that will help with assisting clients and develop a strong relationship. It is important that the client knows the person listening is paying attention and cares about what is being said. The article shows how important listening is and how to get the client to respond and freely and open up about very personal topics. As a professional, we must contribute to the conversation by facing the client, keeping eye contact, listening actively, and respond suitably. This article says we should use reflective listening, this will help get the client to respond more in depth. Repeating what the client has said, will show them we are listening. The client will feel more comfortable in knowing you are listening to the message being said. When speaking with a client, we must avoid any outside distractions. A calm and quiet location is best when trying to counsel a client. While reading through this article, I realized a few common strategies when dealing with a client.
Leaning toward the client, will show them we are attentive. Eye contact will let the client know we are interested in what is being said, and acknowledging what they are saying. I’ve learned that outside distraction should be avoid at all cost, so the client knows I am only focusing on them. All these strategies will be used when entering this field, because I want to do what is best for my clients and help assist them the best I can. 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 and sends 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. 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, their body language shows 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 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 my daily life. They are effective and something I can also 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 daily. It will help me become a better listener when having a conversation with my children and fiancé. I learned from the readings, you shouldn’t interrupt the speaker when they are talking, this can cause them to think you are not interested in what they have to say. The strategies I have read will help me in this career field, and help me assist clients to the best of my ability.
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.
Martin, 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