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© Article translated from the book “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace“. copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available. If you are interested in publishing the book in any language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact Dr. Daniele Trevisani.

When listening, always assume that you will not understand everything perfectly

In this way, you will already know that the techniques of enhanced understanding that we are going to explain will be useful to you. 

Whatever we listen to, where there is a need for clarification, we can also ask for confirmation of what we have perceived, in order to be able to adjust it. In fact, we only have the possibility of making hypotheses about what we perceive, hypotheses that it is good to verify at least on the key elements, resorting to specific mechanisms: 

  1. Reformulation:I reformulate what I understood and let the interlocutor correct me on what diverges.
  2. Synthesis and recapitulation: Isummarisewhat I understood and ask if it is correct. 
  3. Reverberation or Echo: a broader reformulation taking in whole categories, among them: 
  4. i.Reverberation of data: make the sum of all the data heard, 
  5. Emotional reverberation: adding up all the emotions felt, and what they are associated  with,  

iii. Belief Map Reverberation or Belief System: add up all the perceived beliefs, which gives back the person’s “way of seeing things”.  

Eg: Here in this project we have the following actors: you, your father, the trainer, the course, the CEO, the CFO, the managers. You feel for each one that XYZ. To me, your thought seems to be XYX. Did I understand correctly? 

Among the data that we “hear”, there are also non-verbal expressions of self, clothing, a tattoo, haircut, type of shoes, and many other elements. Faced with these elements, the ‘categorisation’, the ‘stereotype’ and the summary and premature judgement may be triggered. I see a person with a floral shirt, shoes without laces, tattoos, I label him as an “alternative leftist” only to discover that he is a Management Consultant instead of the owner of a cannabis shop.  

 

“Happiness is an open mind. 

Be careful of your stereotypes and prejudices, they may trap you and make you miss out on what life has to offer.” 

Med Yones 

 

In listening, we need to give ourselves time to gather information, compare it with each other, and understand the bigger picture which is only buildable after listening to different aspects of the person, verbal, non-verbal, and unspoken, not just the “packaging of the person”. Listening to beliefs, listening to data, physical observation, observation of emotional states, when they converge, can give us a much broader picture of listening and perception. This is much more technical listening than empathic listening. Empathy consists of placing oneself in the other person’s state of mind to understand him or her. This multilevel listening, on the other hand, is a true mapping and dissection of the communication flow, where the validity and implications of each of the emerging elements are verified. The result can also be collected in a real database. 

© Article translated from the book “Ascolto attivo ed empatia. I segreti di una comunicazione efficace“. copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available. If you are interested in publishing the book in any language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact Dr. Daniele Trevisani.