CAE Counselling Psychology


Good listening is empathic listening; defined as a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding and trust. It allows us to receive and accurately interpret the speaker’s message, hence able to provide an appropriate response. This is an important skill to master for both personal and professional interactions. When an individual feels understood, an emotional burden is lifted, stress and defensiveness will reduce. Hence as an empathic listener, you empower the speaker to an increased self-esteem and clarity.

Empathic listening comprises two crucial aspects - Active and Reflective Listening.

Active listening is mindful hearing and genuine effort to comprehend what’s spoken by the other. Attentiveness is the key factor. Reflective listening focuses on reflecting the speaker’s words and feelings by giving feedback through a “paraphrased rendition”; the interpretation confirms and assures that the speaker is heard and understood.


  1. Be Fully In The Moment - Paying attention not just to the words but tone, facial expressions and body language for cues on how they are really feeling. Good eye contact is necessary to convey engagement.
  2. Put Yourself In Their Shoes - Imagine yourself in their situation. Empathy is the ability to project oneself into the personality of another person in order to better understand his/ her emotions.
  3. Do Not Interrupt - Don’t dominate the conversation or impose your ideas on the person. Encourage them to express themselves more instead.
  4. Paraphrase Main Points & Restate them - Echoing what the speaker said allows needed clarification and also assures the speaker that he/she is understood and heard correctly.
  5. Adopt An Atittude of Unconditional Regard - Unconditional positive regard is accepting the speaker totally for who he or she is without evaluating or censoring; and disapproving of particular feelings, actions or characteristics. It liberates the speaker to express him or herself freely.


Listening is a skill that not only helps and serves others, it conditions us to become more compassionate, patient and nurturing people. It takes us out of our tendency toward self absorption and self interest, connecting us intrinsically with the world around us. When we listen, we develop new points of view, perspectives and insight and at the same time foster connections that confers trust and respect.

Knowing how to be an engaged listener is a pivotal skill for effective communication. Learning the combined set of skills and techniques will empower you with the ability to build excellent rapport with others, manage stress at the moment and develop the capacity to recognise and understand your emotions and those you are communicating with.

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CALL US at 6533-7626 or EMAIL your enquiry to ENQUIRY@ICAE.EDU.SG



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