Empathic Listening

Empathic listening has been hailed as a core component of competent communication, primarily because it has been linked to many positive listener outcomes. Some of these positive outcomes include more satisfying friendships and intimate relationships, better understanding, more effective mediations, more positive counseling outcomes, and being perceived as more credible and likable. For example, interpersonal communication texts describe empathic listening as leading to positive relational outcomes, whereas public speaking texts ascribe positive outcomes to empathic listening for both speakers (more credibility and persuasiveness) and audience members (better understanding of the message). It is one of the mechanisms by which we communicate our acceptance of others, encourage the surfacing of important information, reduce defensiveness, and create an environment conducive to collaborative problem solving.

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