Posted: March 15th, 2022

Active empathic listening and emotional intelligence

Question 1


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My willingness to listen score is 63 out of the possible 75. I scored best in organizing information and avoiding interruption, but even on the other parameters like postponing evaluation, showing interest, and maintaining interest, I scored well. The quiz showed me how I can improve my active listening skills. For example, I generally keep an open mind, and do not evaluate the person until he or she has finished talking but I need to refrain from making judgments about his or her actual ideas until they are finished with what they have to say. I also noticed that the quiz revealed that I need to send more visual cues that I am listening, as people can always tell when I am not concentrating on what they are saying.


According to Bevan & Sole (2014), active empathic listening means tuning into the other person, going even beyond the contents of their words to receive the subtext. Being empathic means taking the other person’s perspective, taking their feelings as well as thoughts into consideration before I even consider responding (Section 8.3). Being an active listener means placing the other person before myself. When I am “genuinely focused and emotionally involved,” there is greater potential for rapport (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Section 8.3). Emotional intelligence is a cluster of skills that includes empathy and the ability to tune into other people, reading their own faces, body language, and emotional states as well as my own. When I develop emotional intelligence, I can monitor my own thoughts and feelings, and control them so that I refrain from judgments or interruptions even when involved in a challenging conversation.


I can use active empathic listening and emotional intelligence to help you improve your communication both in personal interactions and in the workplace. For example, I can notice more when my heart rate increases when I feel threatened, thereby training myself to calm down before saying something I might regret later. I can try harder to put myself into the other’s shoes to understand why they feel or think the way they do instead of judging or criticizing them in my head.


Question 2


One communication skill I believe I have mastered has been recognizing when the other person does not understand a message. This is a skills that is related to active empathic listening as well as emotional intelligence (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Section 11.2). I do not know if it is always because of nonverbal cues, such as a slight look of confusion or a sudden drop in eye contact, but I generally tend to be aware when the other person is no longer listening actively to me. In the same way, I believe I am adept at reading other people’s faces and emotions when I am talking and offering them the opportunity to voice their thoughts and opinions. I enjoy active listening, although I do notice that I occasionally rush to judgment about the content of the discussion instead of permitting the other person to persuade me to see their side of the issues.


An area of communication that I need to improve in general is mindfulness (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Section 11.2). Mindfulness can help build emotional intelligence, and help me be a more responsible and responsive communicator. When I am mindless, I am reacting out of patterned or conditioned thoughts and feelings rather than encountering each moment of each conversation fresh. Mindlessness therefore prevents me from being a genuinely active listener. If I can train myself to be more present with each conversation, I believe I will not just become a better listener but also a better communicator in that I will phrase what I am saying more authentically. Mindfulness also helps people be less judgmental and more attuned and open to different opinions and ideas (Bevan & Sole, 2014, Section 11.2). Finally, mindfulness will be the most help in stressful or difficult communication scenarios.




Bevan, J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.)

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