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Active Listening

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by

cliodhna mcallister

on 2 July 2013

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Transcript of Active Listening

ACTIVE LISTENING
Active Listening Techniques
What is Active Listening?
A listening technique that demands the interaction of listener and speaker.
Minimal
Encouragements
"I see."
"Really?"
"mmhmm"
Noises or
phrases that
tell the caller
you're paying
attention, but that don't interrupt.

Paraphrasing
"So what
you're saying
is..."
"Are you telling me that..?"
A summary,
in your own
words, of what you've been told
.
Emotion Labelling
"You sound..."
"You seem..."
"What I'm hearing is..."
Explicitly
identifying
the caller's emotions
Mirroring
Copying or
echoing
phrases
or emotions expressed by
the caller.
mirror tone and register
Effective
Questioning
Open Ended Questions
- that can't be
answered with a
simple 'yes' or 'no',
allowing the caller to provide a detailed summary
of their issue.
How?
What?
Describe...
Explain...
"I" Messages
Explicitly stating
how YOU feel, why
you feel that way,
and how the situation could be alleviated.
Behaviour + Event + Feeling
"When you shout..."
"I cannot help you..."
"...because I feel overpowered"
Effective Pauses
Silence that gives
the caller an
opportunity to talk or to clarify the issue.
What makes a bad listener?
Lack of Interest...
- Sounding as though
you've heard all this
before.
- Interjecting at
inappropriate moments.
- Not responding verbally
to the customer.
- Not focusing on the
caller.
Selective Listening...
- Focusing on the
person, not the
content.
- Responding to detail
and ignoring the Big
Picture.
- Ignoring what you
don't understand.
Interruptions & Assumptions...
- Interjecting, or
cutting off the
caller
- Assuming you
know what the
customer wants to
say and thus
responding earlier
than you should.
Emotional Listening...
- Becoming angry or
frustrated at the caller
- Indicating frustration
or involving third
parties in your
annoyance
- Moving beyond
professional empathy
and allowing your
judgement to be
affected by the caller's
emotions.
Challenges to Effective Listening...
Background noise
Time Constraints
Aggressive communication
Multi-tasking
...and how we overcome them...
Background Noise...
Focus! And experience...this element of call centre work can take some getting used to!
Aggression...
Permitting the caller to vent. Patience and attentiveness to the root of the problem will allow effective closed questioning when the caller runs out of steam!
Time Contraints...
Spending some time at the beginning of a call JUST listening. Managing your time effectively, and gently interjecting after a pre-determined period of time will help keep within your target call time.
Multi - Tasking...
Use multi-tasking to your advantage! Take notes as the customer speaks, which will later serve as your wrap!
Poor Questioning
- "Why?" tends to
make the caller
defensive.
- Probing or
digging for
information can
make the caller
feel interrogated.
Quick Reassurance

- Saying things like "Don't worry
about that" might feel like a
positive statement, but it can make
the caller feel that their concerns
are trivial, or that we aren't
grasping the gravity of the
situation.



Preacing and Patronising
- Telling the customer what they
should do, or should have done
will seem like preaching, and
may make the caller become
defensive.
- Throwaway comments like "Oh
you poor thing" or "oh dear"
can seem insincere or
patronising. Try to be specific in
addressing the customer's
concerns and avoid using
phrases that make the problem
seen unsolvable!
Leading
Questioning

Gently prompting
the customer to
divulge more information
"Could you tell me more about..?"
"What happened then?"
"Do you want to explain..?"
Reflective
Questioning
Questions that draw
on information already
provided by the caller.
"Am I right in saying you...?"
"Would it be fair to say you..?"
"It seems as though you..."
Closed Ended
Questioning
Questions that ask
for specific responses, and
which don't permit narrative answers.
"Did you...?"
"When?"
"Where?"
"Can you..?"
"Have you either...or...?"
Full transcript