COMMUNICATION & Active-Empathic Listening as a General Social Skill

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This article in the Journal of Communication Reports emphasizes that successful leaders utilize active-empathetic listening (AEL) which requires listening and empathizing as much, or more, than you speak. Research shows this is the best way to foster teamwork and create effective leadership but also challenging for many leaders”

Active-Empathic Listening as a General Social Skill: Evidence from Bivariate and Canonical Correlations

By Christopher C. Gearhart and Graham D. Bodie, Department of Communication Studies, The Louisiana State University, Communication Reports

Volume 24, Issue 2, 2011, pages 86- 98.

(Abstract) This study attempts to provide further validity evidence for a scale that measures the tendency to enact active-empathic listening (AEL), one type of listening noted as especially important in close relationships and associated contexts like supportive episodes. In particular, we investigated the degree to which AEL is empirically related to various general social skills that reflect interaction competencies such as emotional sensitivity. Strong correlations between a measure of AEL and four of the six social skill dimensions measured by the social skills inventory (SSI) provide validity evidence for this scale. The paper concludes with a discussion of future research possibilities.

Keywords: Communication Skill, Competence, Listening, Social Interaction, Social Skill

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