Evidence That It Works
In a study of a representative sample, but mainly female, college students, participants had brief conversations (about their biggest disappointment with their university) with someone trained to engage in active listening, someone who gave them advice, or someone who gave simple acknowledgements of their point of view. Those who received active listening reported feeling more understood at the end of the conversation.
Why Does It Matter?
One of the most effective ways to cultivate a positive school climate is to encourage positive relationships between staff members—and one of the quickest ways to do this is to help them to really see and hear one another.
Active listening helps listeners better understand others’ perspectives and helps speakers feel more understood and less threatened. This technique can prevent miscommunication and spare hurt feelings on both sides. By improving communication and preventing arguments from escalating, active listening can make relationships between staff members more enduring and satisfying.