Training how to listen

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SWEC members and volunteers have been enhancing our soft skills and abilities to support other students by maintaining monthly training sessions. After various topics like “Psychological First Aid , The first psychotherapy session” course at TSC – Touching Soul Center, “Breaking Bad News, or Appoaching to Addiction”, “How to listen” was chosen to be the topic for our next training in May, 2019. Gladly, Mr. Dang Khanh An – a psychologist from TSC – agreed to host a high-quality training session about this topic.

Listening is a common skill to everyone in multitude of aspects of life, from daily conversations to working communication; from common talk to psychological support sessions. Although we experience listening on a daily basic, most of us do not fully understand this delicate skill. People usually just listen to information without realizing how important listening to emotions is to psychological supporting.

There are certain rules for a more effective listening. One of those is to respect: to respect the person you are talking to, and to respect yourself as well. Knowing communication’s boundaries is also an essential rule to keep listeners from being confused. This rule means that being able to indicate the purposes, roles as well as what the listeners allowed to do during communicating. There also a number of other rules that need to be applied in order to maximize listening efficacy.

In regard to a more general view, listening is not simply listening, but also a part of the overall communication process, which includes listening, replying and expressing. Although difference situations have difference environments, subjects or purposes, those three steps are always basic and necessary. Listening to voices and also to the non-verbal language are needed to understand contained information and emotions. Replying to what we reap from listening so that we would not burn out because of all the information and emotions that we is holding. Expressing our thoughts and feelings helps step-by-step to remove obstacles between people, which facilitates formation of trust between people and allows them to share more.

“Communication is a skill, not a technique.” Communication requires flexible and effective application of those essential skills so as to understand, maintain and advance conversations in a way that no fixed samples or scripts can replace. Besides, listening skill in particular and communicating in general also require people to be ready to listen and receive information. One must be ready to listen to himself or herself before being able to listen to other people.

During the training session, SWEC members were taught about basic priciples of listening and working in psychology field. With a suitable number of attenders, the training session had enough time for attenders to practice listening, replying and expressing with the Psychologist’s direct correction. This created a lively atmosphere which made the training session more interesting and effective. SWEC members will continue organizing and attending psychological training sessions from Touching Soul Center in the future.

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