Monday, March 16, 2009

Assignment for the Week: The CARESS Method

Good morning, class...today we're going to talk about listening. Here's your assignment for this week: I want you to try and actively listen to the people you come in contact with.

Active listening is hard work. Here's how you do it: You'll use what is known as the CARESS Method.
- Concentrate on what the person is saying. Listen for nuances; little changes in tone, or feeling, that offer subtle meaning.
- Acknowledge that the person is trying to communicate with you. Give them a nod or a "mmm hmmm" to let them know that you are with them.
- Research areas that you might not be clear about. Ask more and better questions.
- Exercise Emotional Control. You want to listen to what they are saying, not how they are saying it. Don't let the person's emotional state interfere with your ability to clearly understand.
- Sense the non-verbal. Are they telling you what they are showing you with body language. As s young person once said; does their video match their audio.
- Structure of the message will be how they give it to you. Do they tell you the most important item first, or do they need to give background and then reveal the most important issue?

Active listening reveals so much additional information. Truer meanings and clearer communications are possible with active listening. But, as noted, it requires a willingness to focus and pay attention, and in today's world that can be difficult.

Class dismissed.

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