Empathetic listening doesn’t mean that you listen with the intent to reply. It doesn’t mean using reflective listening techniques, or attentive listening, as if you really wanted to hang on someone’s every word.
What empathetic listening means is that you listen to another person speak with the soul intention of understanding the words they say. But it also means that you listen visually, as their body language conveys about forty percent of the message they are trying to express.
Of course, Mr. Covey says that paying close attention to the sound of their voice is important too. This, he says, is because tone of voice conveys feeling; making up thirty percent of the message they are attempting to express.
“Yes,” keeping your own personal autobiography out of your mind so you can fully absorb what they are saying “from their prospective” certainly will help you to take in all of the auditory and visual cues. So, “Yeah,” empathetic listening is a left and right brain activity that engages sight, intuitive sense and hearing when properly done.
Got that? “What did you say?”