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June 2008    Supportive Listening™   Newsletter
Listening Tips
w/ Paul

I'd like to challenge you as a listener to change your focus.

In years past, when a friend was relating their problem to me I'd focus my efforts on coming up with solutions.

But I found that my solutions were often not used, or even worse they were used and they didn't work.

I came to wonder—if my efforts to problem solve don't help, where do I put my supportive energy?

I put it into great listening, of course!

Thus I've taken on a challenge: to channel my energy away from solutions, and into self management, in two ways:

1. Manage the impulse. When I see the impulse arise to give advice, I take a deep breath— it helps me reduce the urgency.

And then, some supportive self-talk, such as "wait, let them talk, hold on..." keeps me from giving advice.

2. Manage my attention. Rather than focusing on problem solving, I direct my energy towards connection, by wondering "what's this issue like for the speaker?"

As I get better at these things, speakers notice and appreciate my listening more and more.

Give it a try! In the next week, shift your focus away from solutions and towards self management, and see what happens.

— Paul

I'd love to hear your comments about this challenge—send me an email.

New Listening Class—by Phone

In May our first ever Supportive Listening Basics class was completed. Eight enthusiastic listeners joined us for four Sundays to develop their skills. We had a great time exploring the world of listening!

Several people from the Basics class wanted a way to continue to develop their skills, and so we're offering an innovative class—by phoneopen to anyone who has taken the Introduction to Supportive Listening workshop.

This will be a great way to improve as a listener, with structured practice and lots of support. See the upcoming events section below for all of the details.

Best regards,

- Paul and Eran

SupportiveListening.org

Upcoming Events

Supportive Listening Phone class
Starts Monday, June 16, 7:30 to 8:30pm
Four weekly sessions.
Class meets by phone.
$20 (Intro price) Limited to 6 people.

Details and registration

From the Listening Labs w/ Eran

Compliance is a big issue in the medical world—and listening may offer a solution.

When Harry goes to see a doctor because of a bad, persistent stomach ache, the doctor may spend a lot of time diagnosing, explaining the problem, and prescribing a course of treatment.

And after all that, Harry may never follow up on the treatment, and may even continue to engage in health-risking behavior. 

Showing up for follow-up appointments is one form of compliance - potentially one of the simplest ways a person can invest in his or her own health. And yet, an astonishing number of people do not show up (or even schedule) a follow-up appointment that a physician recommended.

Understandably, the medical community is eager to understand how to improve patient compliance, or at least to predict when patients will comply with the prescribed course of treatment.

In a study by Federman-Cook et al. (2001), researchers were curious to learn more about how patients decide not to go to their follow-up appointments. To this end, they surveyed more than 2,700 primary care patients, and asked them about a variety of factors that may influence their decisions. One of the two most important factors (continued)

A Workshop for your Group

Do you know a group or community that could benefit from Supportive Listening? If so, let us know.

We are very happy to come work with your group, and can tailor a workshop for your group's unique needs.

Questions? Email Paul or see the FAQ for organizers.

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