Speech Improvement Resources
Immersion Listening
Written by Joan M. Boneberg, M.S., CCC-SLP   

An important skill to add to your communication repertoire is immersion listening┬«.  Improving listening skills tends to be a low priority on the self-improvement "to do list".  Unfortunately, that can have a negative impact on business and personal relationships.

Immersion listening TM is an essential and high-level skill.  A truly effective listener needs to receive their communication partner's message completely without interruption or preset conclusion.  The keys to become an immersion listener are high-level attending skills, being totally present with the speaker, both mentally and emotionally and a willingness to be non-judgmental.  This however does not mean the listener needs to agree with the speaker's message; it just means the listener needs to open to receive it.

In today's world of multitasking , this is a difficult task for many because of the necessary discipline, energy and commitment it takes to put this style of listening into practice.  The results that come from this commitment can be significant, however.

The job interview process is a prime example of how immersion listening can positively impact an outcome.  When a job candidate is in the interview he/she not only needs to mentally attend to the business discussion but also needs to indicate, through nonverbal means, that he/she is attending on a personal level, i.e. positive body language, appropriate eye contact and affirmative expressions.  These nonverbal indicators are communicating more from the listener than just broad understanding.  The listener is not only conveying that the business message is important, but that the person behind the message is important as well.  These are essential components to developing relationships that are built on interest and trust.

Clients and colleagues need to know that their issues, goals and opinions are valued.  Through immersion listening TM, these goals and opinions can be affirmed.  It is only through consistent use of this listening style that others see the interest and care that their communication partner demonstrates.   The effort it takes to use immersion listening TM to build trusted relationships is small in comparison to the loyal client base that can result.

 

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"Remember, the silent communication of your body language says as much as your words."

Joan M. Boneberg