Counselling is a very popular activity among the current generation because it indicates the pressure and values of 20th century. We are living in a busy and hectic world an sometimes it is not easy for everyone to cope the experience. This is when an individual will need counselling for sharing their problem or getting an opinion or support from a counsellor. The term counselling has more negative impact among older people compare to the younger generation. Older generation has the perception that who ever goes for counselling is consider having psychological disorder which is incorrect but they has been like that for generations and it is impossible to change their perception now. Anyway, counselling is defined as the provision of professional assistance and guidance in resolving personal or psychological problems(Goel,2014).
Counselling is not only for mental health but it is also for personal, family, career, and education counselling. When a student need advise about his or her future education, they can consult counsellor for an opinion. For an effective counselling, it is important to listen. A counsellor must have listening skills like listen to gather information, listen to understand, listen for enjoyment and learning new things requires us to listen as well. Listening is not as easy as we all think because there are 4 stages in listening which are sensing, understanding, evaluating, and responding. To become an active listener, a counsellor is required to listen with full attention, be sensitive, and to be alert because after the listening session, the counsellor will be giving opinion to help the client to do a better choice or some supportive opinions. But lately, it is not easy for a counsellor to do an effective counselling session as there are some difficulties faced by counselors during the active listening phase.
2.COMPARE FINDING OF 5 JURNALS
Effective listening has 4 stages which are sensing,understanding, evaluating and responding. Sensing stage is a difficult stage because it requires hearing to take the message. It is very important to concentrate on hearing what is being said by the client instead of thinking about something else which is going on in our lives. Human has the ability to listen 4 times more faster than talking. This stage requires to see the face of the person talking, body language and the tone which is used by the person who is talking. Understanding stage is a process of interpreting the message whereby the listener must do the thinking of what being said by the communicator from their standpoint and try helping the others to understand the communicator. Evaluating stage is a stage whereby the listener have to evaluate the message by sorting and classifying the implication of the information. Last stage is responding whereby the listener have to respond according to the understanding which can be positive, negative, or neutral
According to Egbochuku (2010), avoid speaking too quietly or hesitantly as the other person may find it hard to have confidence in her as a helper because the tone of the voice also acts as an indicator of the individual’s thoughts and attitudes. A counsellor need to talk clearly at a fairly steady level rather than sounding rushed or excited, and without mumbling or stumbling over our words. Sometimes it is appropriate to mirror the tone of the client’s voice to help them hear the emotion conveyed. Although humour can be useful at times, when used sparingly, it is not a good idea to adopt a jocular manner with your clients. It can suppress their expression of deeper feelings (Egbochuku, 2010).
According to Lunenburg (2010), the listener’s attention could be switched something unusual or annoying like for example appearance of the speaker, his voice or pronunciation, mimics or gestures. High speed of mental activity like we think 4 times quickly than we speak so that is why, when somebody is speaking, our mind is mostly free and is distracted from the speech(Lunenburg,2010).
According to Fernando (2012), a counsellor should not argue with their clients as it will make them become defensive. It is better to just listen actively. Never judge when listening to the client as this will feel safe and respected. Before the counselling session, it is important to have adequate privacy and the seating arrangement is satisfactory whereby the client is seated at an angle to the interviewer. A counsellor should start with easy questions so that the client will feel comfortable. It should begin by introducing yourself and greeting the client by name to be more appropriate. Communication may be facilitated with verbal and nonverbal cues. For example as eye contact, nodding head appropriately, leaning forward slightly as non verbal cues and saying ‘yes I understand, please continue’ as verbal cues. It is important to make the patient feel safe enough to be open about their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. The patient also needs to feel respected and understood (Fernando,2012).
According to Lunenburg (2010), very often a necessity of reply is raised, the feeling of immediate answer on the interlocutor’s statement and when it happens, we are not listening to the speaker anymore, our thoughts are occupied on analyzing the statement and building an appropriate reply on it. All these factors could be a significant barrier to effective counselling.
This journal is about the attitude of the counsellor by Jahromi, Tabatabaee, Abdar, & Rajabi, (2016), listening is something more than the physical process of hearing. It is a matter of attitude and also an intellectual and emotional process. There are 4 category of listeners which are non-listener, marginal listener, evaluative listener, and active listener. Each category requires a particular depth of concentration and sensitivity from the listener, and trust and effective communication increase as we advance beyond the first type. Active listening is the highest and most effective level of listening, and it is a special communication skill. It is also a great strategy for having effective communication because it is based on complete attention to what a person is saying, listening carefully while showing interest and not interrupting. Active listening requires listening for the content, intent, and feeling of the speaker (Jahromi, Tabatabaee, Abdar, & Rajabi, 2016).
According to Lunenburg (2010), trying to listen and understand everything is impossible and our mind ease our lives choosing the most interesting facts at the certain period of time and sometimes the client’s speech is not the core interest for us.
This journal is about the psychological factor or prejudice of the students. They don’t want to counsel a counsellor because they are scared of the information will be leaked to other teachers in school. According to Nyarangi & Obwoge (2015), it is found that some students are doubting about seeking guidance and counselling services because they do not want to reveal their problems to their counselor because according to them such revealed problems are later made subjects of staff-room debate. It is also reports that a number of students hold a strong misconception towards guidance and counselling that hinders them from freely telling their problems to the teacher counsellor. They think that they will be punished if they reveal their problems(Nyarangi & Obwoge, 2015). The students which seek help from counsellor will not tell the truth to the counsellor, they will end up keeping it to themselves.
3.Opinion on improving listening skills
Listening skills are important and there are few ways to become a good listener which are being a motivated listener, be prepare to listen, be objective, be alert to all cues, make good use of the thinking-speaking time differences, use feedback, practice listening and use verbal and non-verbal cues to encourage the speaker. Below are few ways according to Lunenburg (2010) and Bodie, Vickery, Cannava,& Jones (2015).
3.1 Receiver’s Responsibilities
Communication is to send and also to receive messages. Listen effectively greatly enhances the communication process, but many of us are not good listeners. Effective listening skills can be developed is follow as below (Lunenburg 2010):,
3.1.1. Stop talking- You cannot listen if you are talking. For example, both talking at a time so the message is not received.
3.1.2. Comfort the communicator by helping a person feel free to talk. This is often called a permissive environment.
3.1.3. Show a talker that you want to listen. Look and put interest. Do not read your mail while someone talks. Listen to understand rather than to oppose.
3.1.4. Remove distractions. Don’t doodle, tap, or shuffle papers. Will it be quieter if you shut the door?
3.1.5. Empathize with talkers. Try to help yourself see the other person’s point of view.
3.1.6. Be patient. Allow plenty of time. Do not interrupt a talker. Don’t start for the door or walk away.
3.1.7. Ask questions. This encourages a talker and shows that you are listening. It helps to develop points further.
3.1.8. Stop talking. This is first and last, because all other guides depend on it. You cannot do an effective listening job while you are talking.
3.2 Active Listening
The concept recognizes that a sender’s message contains both verbal and nonverbal content as well as a feeling component. The receiver should be aware of both components in order to comprehend the total meaning of the message. There are five guidelines that can help school administrators to become more active listeners (Lunenburg 2010).
3.2.1. Listen for message content. The receiver must try to hear exactly what the sender is saying in the message.
3.3.2. Listen for feelings. The receiver must try to identify how the sender feels in terms of the message content. This can be done by asking: “What is he trying to say?”
3.3.3. Respond to feelings. The receiver must let the sender know that her feelings, as well as the message content are recognized.
3.3.4. Note all cues, verbal and nonverbal. The receiver must be sensitive to the nonverbal messages as well as the verbal ones. If the receiver identifies mixed messages, he may ask for clarification.
3.3.5. Rephrase the sender’s message. The receiver may restate or paraphrase the verbal and nonverbal messages as feedback to the sender. The receiver can do this by allowing the sender to respond with further information.The last guideline is one of the most powerful of the active listening techniques and is used regularly by counselors and therapists. It helps the receiver avoid passing judgment or giving advice, and encourages the sender to provide more information about what is really the problem.
The counselor must decide at the beginning of the process what level of cognitive complexity is suitable for the client so he can help him see the problem differently and develop new ways to solve the problem according to Bodie,Vickery, Cannava, & Jones(2015). But he can not do anything without a sufficient set of concepts and an adequate language with which he can state what the client can not do. This concept allows consultants to address the complexity of client response and often needs to have several different theoretical frameworks to meet the various problems presented. Effective counselors should not feel uncomfortable with the problems people have, and should develop an intuitive ability to respond accurately and to the correct level of emphasis and simplicity in counseling sessions. They need to come to a meeting with a deep understanding of concepts such as empathy, unconditional considerations, persistence, respect and confrontation. Above all, they need to understand the different levels of legitimacy (Bodie,Vickery, Cannava, & Jones,2015).
According to Bodie,Vickery, Cannava, & Jones(2015), counselors not only need concepts, but also need to know the broad context from which their clients come. This context is very varied that each brings a systemic view of the world or how to explain the world in its own slang. Someone may be in the middle of a crisis involving the abuse of their former children, while others are in crisis due to the possible down from bankruptcy. Each client will state their distress or discomfort in the slang related to what they consider to be the context of their problem and the counselor needs to be able to react. Quite reasonable, it is necessary to understand the dynamics of a complex series of social contexts that have led to the appropriate specialization that now exists in various fields of counseling(Bodie,Vickery, Cannava, & Jones,2015).
Lastly, I would like to make a stress on the fact that both attending and listening are closely connected with the work of successful counsellor. We all know that counselling supports wide variety of themes and wide variety of industries, but it keeps the same general principles for the whole counselling. Creating a suitable atmosphere, being a good and reliable listener, always means more for the client, who often seeks for friendly supportive hand more than for good professional advice. Everyone of us have met certain difficulties during our life and strong supportive hand of reliable professional near by (especially in the scrutinized circumstances) means a lot for everyone. I think that good attending and listening skills would make a good advantage for becoming a successful counselor, in any sphere. Personally I think that active listening skills could be efficiently used in many other spheres, not only marketing, as well as attending. During all our life, at home and at work, during journeys, we got to communicate with many people. Being a good listener means being a successful communicator and this quality means a lot in the present day world. Active listening would be very useful as for business as well as for home, the results won’t make you wait long, promoting your professional and personal skills.