Effective Listening

Effective Listening via avoiding the Roadblocks to Communication

Effective Listening powerfully communicates your love and support more than if you had spoken a thousand eloquent words.
When undergoing marriage therapy I recommend couples do their best to actively listen  (Effective Listening) when their spouse is sharing. Most of us are by default terrible listeners, usually using the time while another is speaking to formulate our next comment!
This takes discipline and can be difficult but the upside you will get your turn to speak and be heard also.

These twelve ways of responding listed below are viewed as high­risk responses, rather than being inevitably destructive elements of all communication. They are more likely to block conversation, thwart the other person’s problem ­solving efficiency, and increase the emotional distance between people than other ways of communicating. However, at times people use these responses with little or no obvious negative effect.

If one or two person’s are experiencing a strong need or wrestling with a difficult problem, the likelihood of negative impact from roadblocks increases greatly.

Effective Listening meme


Outside of therapy it is not expected that you adhere to perfect active listing technique all the
time but always revert to this when dealing with someone who is upset or really needs to talk.
So often with our partners and children we are quick to answer or “help” when really they most
likely can “solve “ the issue themselves­ what they are asking for is your care and validation . By
really hearing the person and being present in their pain, frustration etc you are giving them a
precious gift . Effective Listening powerfully communicates your love and support more than if
you had spoken a thousand eloquent words.

A useful guideline to follow is, “whenever you or the other person is experiencing stress,
avoid all roadblocks”. Unfortunately, it is precisely when stress is experienced that we are
most likely to use these high­risk responses.


The twelve barriers (ROADBLOCKS ) to communication can be
divided into three major categories: judgement, sending solutions, and avoidance of the others
1. Criticizing
2. Name­calling
3. Diagnosing
4. Praising evaluatively
Sending Solutions
5. Ordering
6. Threatening
7. Moralizing
8. Excessive/Inappropriate Questioning
9. Advising
Avoiding the others concerns
10. Diverting
11. Logical argument
12. Reassuring

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Barrierstocommunication (1)