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What's the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 2
Again, many of us think we listen, yet we don't always "attend" to the person who is speaking to us. We are too busy doing other things! We are not being 100% attentive. The following attributes of good listening are suggestive of the skills needed. There is some overlap between the various attributes, but each suggests something different.
Dynamic Listening Involves:
Concentration. Good listening is normally hard work. We live in a time that is highly demanding on us all. We are moving fast paced with a hundred things on our minds at any given time. Many of us wear a lot of hats and our plates "runneth" over. But when we are committed to giving SF help, we have to repress almost all of these and concentrate on the verbal sounds (and visual clues) from one source - the speaker. And this concentration, is something that most of us have not been thoroughly trained in how to do. Focus your attention - on the words, ideas and feeling related to the subject. Concentrate on the main ideas or points. All of this takes a conscious effort and self discipline.
Attention. Attention may be defined as the visual portion of concentration on the speaker. Through eye contact and other body language, we communicate to the helpee that we are paying close attention to his/her messages. All the time we are reading the verbal and nonverbal cues from the helpee, the helpee is reading ours. What messages are we sending out? If we lean forward a little and focus our eyes on the person, the message is we are paying close attention. If we are diverting our eyes to the clock, writing something on paper, the message is that we are not paying attention.
Eye contact. Good eye contact is essential for several reasons: First, by maintaining eye contact, we will not be so easily distracted by the visuals around us. Second, 75 to 80% of messages are in non-verbal form and by watching the eyes and face and physical movements of a person we pick up clues as to the content. A fumbling with the fingers may indicate nervousness. Finally, and maybe most important, our eye contact with the speaker is immediate feedback concerning the message they are attempting to give us. It says in essence, yes, I am listening, I am paying attention. I hear you. Remember: a person's face, mouth, eyes, hands and body all help to communicate to you. No other parts of the body are as expressive as the head and eyes.
Body Language. Certain body postures and movements are culturally interpreted with specific meanings. The crossing of arms and legs is perceived to mean a closing of the mind and attention. The nodding of the head vertically is interpreted as agreement or assent. Of course, nonverbal clues such as these vary from culture to culture just as the spoken language does. If seated, the leaning forward with the upper body communicates attention. Standing or seated, the maintenance of an appropriate distance is important. Too close and we appear to be invading the private space of another, and too far and we are seen as cold and distant.
Understanding of Language Meaning must be imputed to the words. But, as we all know, many words in the English language has numerous meanings. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you as the listener to concentrate on the context of the usage in order to correctly understand the message. The spoken portion of the language is only a fraction of the message. Voice inflection, body language and other symbols send messages also.
Objectivity. We should be open to the message the other person is sending. It is very difficult to be completely open because each of us is strongly biased by the weight of our past experiences. We give meaning to the messages based upon what we have been taught the words and symbols mean by our parents, our peers and our teachers. Talk to someone from a different culture and watch how they give meaning to words. For example, the word "family" has a different meaning to Haitians than it does for Americans. Though it is similar, it is still different and must be comprehended from their perspective if you are to be successful in being objective. Or another listening challenge is to listen open and objectively to a person with very different political or religious beliefs.
Restating the message. Your restating the message as part of the feedback can enhance the effectiveness of good communications. A comment such as: "I want to make sure that I have fully understood your message...." and then paraphrase in your own words the message. If the communication is not clear, such a feedback will allow for immediate clarification. This is mandatory! It is paramount that you state the message as clearly and objectively as possible.
Questioning/Clarifying. Questions can serve the same purpose as restating the message. If you are unclear about the intent of the message, ask for more information after allowing sufficient time for explanations. Don't ask questions that put people on the spot. Never engage in questioning that will hurt, humiliate or show up the other person. Only part of the responsibility is with the speaker. You have an important and dynamic role to play also. If the message does not get through, all else is an exercise in futility.
Empathy. Empathy is the "the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another...." Sympathy is "having common feelings..." (Merrian Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition) In other words as a good listener you need to be able to understand the other person. Try to put yourself in the speaker's position so that you can see what he/she is trying to get at. Be empathetic and nonjudgmental: When you value the speaker and accept the speaker's feelings you will be able to empathize more fully, to "hear" more clearly and completely and to offer them the gift of being heard. Please, do not be judgemental.
Pauses. Intentional pauses can be used very effectively in listening. For example, a pause at some points in the feedback can be used to signal that you are "thinking" about what was just said.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: A Grief Healing Workbook, will be available soon.
Why Does It Seem That There Are More Children With ADHD Than Ever Before?
Even though the percentage of people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is likely the same as in the past, there are three likely reasons why it seems that "there is more ADHD" than ever before:
A Case for Multiple Intelligences Based Classroom Instruction
Although many high school age students tend to think and learn in nontraditional ways, American schools still base their instruction primarily on the verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. As a result, many students who are not strong in these traditional intelligences develop poor attitudes toward school and their academic achievement suffers.
Key Solution Focus Interviewing Skills
There are several key Solution Focus interviewing skills that are indispensable in moving individuals from problem focus to solution focus.
Insighting Human Behavior thru Gravity Wave Simulations of the Moon
Every police officer will tell you that when there is a full moon, the natives are restless and it will be a long night, with lots of arrests and paperwork? This is a known fact one which cannot be dismissed so easily after such basic observations. An evolutionary theorist would say this is because on moonlit nights our ancient ancestors went on night hunts or that the Sabertooth tigers came to hunt us? Some say these things date back to our Tree Shrew ancestry, all of which Darwin might agree is plausible. Other more spiritual folks might say it is a special time, which brings out human emotion and spirits? Sounds cool to me. I could go for that one? Whatever the case is Lunar Cycles and full moons cause or help along Earth Shift movements of Tectonic plates, coincide with ocean wave actions and indeed cause the behavior shift of many life forms on the Planet's surface. Could this be from an interaction of gravity waves between Earth and Moon? If so does it affect the resonance of mother Earth's 7.89 Hz or heartbeat?
What is the Theory of Multiple Intelligences? Part 1: Biological Basis
Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences is based on the premise that each individual's intelligence is composed of multiple "intelligences," each of which has its own independent operating system within the brain. These intelligences include: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.
Accepting New Ideas
Much of the time when a new idea comes to us, we handle that idea and move on, without ever becoming consciously aware of the process. During the times when we are consciously aware of the process of handling a new idea, we often reject that idea without understanding why we rejected it, or sometimes without even understanding that we did reject it.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1999 edition) defines empathy as:
Ever felt urged to steal a piece of bubblegum from the grocery store and given in? Then you are likely training to become either a kleptomaniac or an addictive compulsive thief. Do not despair ? you're not alone. Not a threat. And there is a way out.
Solution Focus Process: Solution Talk vs. Problem Talk Pt I
Solution Talk vs. Problem Talk
We are all terminally ill. It is a matter of time before we all die. Aging and death remain almost as mysterious as ever. We feel awed and uncomfortable when we contemplate these twin afflictions. Indeed, the very word denoting illness contains its own best definition: dis-ease. A mental component of lack of well being must exist SUBJECTIVELY. The person must FEEL bad, must experience discomfiture for his condition to qualify as a disease. To this extent, we are justified in classifying all diseases as "spiritual" or "mental".
Christian Psychotherapy for Convicts?
Repeated research studies have revealed that secular efforts at rehabilitation have been unsuccessful in preventing recidivism. Not one of the various approaches to psychological counseling has been able to demonstrate success statistically in helping inmates rehabilitate. Among nearly 300,000 prisoners released in 15 states in 1994, 67.5% were re-arrested within 3-years. A study of 1983 releases estimated 62.5% (Langan and Levin, Bureau of Justice Statistics, June 2002).
Morality As A Mental State
Artificial Intelligence - What Have We Learned Through Natural Ignorance?
During the late '80s and early '90s, I had the opportunity to work with expert systems in real-time production environments. I found artificial intelligence, or AI, to be thoroughly intriguing. I even went so far as to write an expert system package, under Microsoft Windows, called WindExS. However, as I continued my work, and expanded into other areas of knowledge management and, eventually, remote viewing, I began to find some unusual inconsistencies in the AI world and the desires to create "truly intelligent" and "thinking" machines.
A Jungian Approach to Mental Illness
All of us suffer from some form of emotional distress at some stage. Some forms of distress can last longer than they should and may significantly impair our everyday functioning. If this persists, we may be suffering from a mental illness or mental disorder (like depression, or anxiety). We can better understand this by comparing a mental illness such as depression, with a case of the flu ? it pervades our daily life with painful symptoms.
What?s the Problem: Introducing Solution Focus Pt 1
Solution Focus is the brain child of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer. This positive approach to problem resolution is rooted in the tradition of Milton Erickson's brief therapy. It assumes that small modifications in the individual's cognitive and behavioral expressions can lead to significant life changes. It further assumes that how individuals perceive events is what gives meaning to those events; how one organize and reorganize those experiences in conversation with others, allows for a reality that is versatile, fluid, and capable of revision. This approach is based on the premise that all individuals and families have definite strengths, coping skills and unique problem solving abilities to create positive change. Solution Focus taps in to this strength, helps individuals/families build upon it and uses a variety of tools such as purposeful questions that are utilized to assist in the movement from problems to solutions.
A Look at The Brain
The endless, immeasurable brain. It does seem like more we discover about it, the more mystery we create. Perhaps the most intriguing of all is the child's brain. In certain ways, children are the most brilliant people in the world. They have the ability to absorb more information than we can conceive of as adults.
Parapsychology: Maximizing Effectivity Of Targeted Controlled Remote Viewing Techniques
Individuals with a solid working knowledge of Controlled Remote Viewing (CRV) have undoubtedly encountered the "plateaus" experienced at various levels throughout the ability's development.
Narcissism, Substance Abuse, and Reckless Behaviours
Pathological narcissism is an addiction to Narcissistic Supply, the narcissist's drug of choice. It is, therefore, not surprising that other addictive and reckless behaviours ? workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, pathological gambling, compulsory shopping, or reckless driving ? piggyback on this primary dependence.
Even though hypnosis has been around officially since the 1700s (Franz Anton Mesmer), there are still questions as to its validity and benefits. For the most part, these questions stem from fear and ignorance. Regarding this subject, it is generally assumed that what you don't know can hurt you. People's viewpoints on hypnosis vary according to what their experiences have been and what they've heard.
Dogs Use Psycho-Cybernetics To Accomplish Goals
Dogs picture in their minds an event of an activity they wish to perform whether it hunting a rodent, greeting their human companions at the door or retrieving a stick. This helps them set goals similar to psycho-cybernetic human intent goal oriented human endeavors. We know dogs do this for two reasons. One, when they sleep their paws move as if they are running. Some might say that this is nervous system reactions, but fRMI scans show these are simultaneously happening with motor areas of the brain. Secondly the memory of motions for dogs is evident in the way they approach problem solving while moving toward an object such as a bone or Frisbee. If the Frisbee is thrown in a standard fashion the dog jumps and takes it the same every time and commits the action to muscle memory, which is an indication of that reflex of motion being done over and over again in its mind.
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