Apr 1, 2014

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Education | Comments Off on Crisis Intervention & Conflict Resolution – USE LISTENING SKILLS

Crisis Intervention & Conflict Resolution – USE LISTENING SKILLS

We often get asked what is the most important part of any crisis or conflict resolution situation. The answer is listening.

During my time as a negotiator in the Australian Federal Police Force and also the time I spent at the FBI, I was constantly taught one thing – actively listen to what the aggressor is saying.

Listening does a few things –
1. It shows that you are focused on the aggressor, and not something else (your lunch, the time, what’s on TV tonight)
2. It shows that you understand the needs of the aggressor – they want you to understand
3. It builds rapport once you show that you understand them
4. It gives you the ability to engage in conversation with them.

Without listening – all conflict situations would end terribly.

How do you listen?

Well these fundamentals are taught in CRTC’s training, but you can focus on the following areas –

* Focus on each individual word the person is saying, pause, and then take time to understand the semantics
* Pay attention to non-verbal cues – where is the aggressor looking, is he/she rolling their eyes whilst talking – this will all play into the meaning and context of their speech.
* Paraphrase to make sure you understand – it’s ok to say “ok so you’re upset that you have been cut off for not showing up for your third job interview, that’s right?’
* Focus on the aggressor – look them directly in the eyes and don’t appear to be distracted by the things around you.
* Use your own body language to show that you are listening – when they speak, nod to show that you acknowledge, act concerned (frown) if what they are saying is upsetting, smile/laugh if they make a joke!
* Don’t judge!!!! If you judge you will already have a pre-conceived outcome of what will happen to the aggressor in your head – this is not good as they will be able to see/read through you.
* Open heart/open mind – in opposite to above, always look at things with an open mind, after all, anything could be possible!

We talk a lot about listening in our conflict courses. It is the ‘big fundamental’ when it comes to conflict management, and is a skill that you can use everyday of your life!

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