Active Listening Skills Essay

Active Listening Skill Reflection Student Name EDL/531 October 22, 2012 Professor Active Listening Skill Reflection Kelly and Grace are the two senior corporate trainers interviewed during the focus group discussion about the use cognitive coaching skills when developing new trainers. Kelly has over 10-years of training and supervisory experience, and Grace has nine-years of training experience, both are responsible for mentoring new trainers hired by the financial institution for the first six months of their career.

This paper will cover the cognitive coaching experiences of Kelly and Grace as they respond to the 11 questions prepared by Learning Team C, associated with desired characteristics and the types of support provided by effective coaches. Also covered are the active listening skills demonstrated by participants of the focus group during discussions. Please note, the interviewer did not include every question discussed in this paper to conserve word count. Questions |How do you practice active listening skills when coaching a client? | |Name two qualities of an effective coach or mentor. | |Why do you want to be a mentor? |In what ways do you model behaviors? | |Describe at least two techniques for mentoring difficult mentees. (DuBrin, 2005) | |How do you develop your approach to support a mentee? | |Explain how you would implement constructive criticism. | |Describe how you would provide insight to your client. | |How do you build confidence and trust between you and the mentee? | |How will you handle a mentee who becomes emotional during a one-on-one discussion? (US DOT, M. D. ) | |How do you develop a coaching/mentoring plan? Responses Both Grace and Kelly answered similarly when responding to the question about how they practice active listening skills when mentoring. They allow the mentee to finish speaking without interruption, and paraphrase to check for understanding of the question or problem before responding; they read and respond to body language; ask open-ended questions and acknowledge what mentees are saying. When responding to how they build trust, both follow through on commitments, respond to questions, use humor, speak openly, and honestly when providing professional and personal feedback.

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The relationships are professional and open door policy so the mentee is comfortable coming to them with questions or problems, and understands that constructive criticism enhances professional and personal growth. Feedback goes up and down the ladder and mentees are also asked to critique the mentor’s performance. When providing constructive criticism Kelly begins with what the mentee is doing well before covering areas of improvement, the mentee is also asked to rate his or her performance. The mentor discusses large gaps between the mentor and mentee’s performance perception and they make a decision on how to close the gap.

Grace begins with the constructive criticism first, and closed with the mentee’s areas of strength. Grace had not experienced a mentee becoming emotional; Kelly had and handled the situation by allowing the mentee to finish crying, and giving her time to compose herself. Then she allowed her to say what she was feeling and why, responding empathetically, speaking calmly, and maintaining a smile as appropriate. Finally, Grace’s believes good listener and knowledgeable are the two qualities of an effective coach or mentor, and Kelly chose patience and trust.

The focus group concluded with an exchange of hugs, smiles, and thanks. Active Listening Skills During the focus discussions the interviewer demonstrated several active listening skills, beginning by hosting the discussions in a conference room away from ringing phones and computers to avoid distractions. As each mentor spoke the interviewer maintained eye contact, smiled, and in some cases laughing as appropriate, using body language, and words to express acknowledgement. The interviewer waited for the appropriate break in the conversation to check for understanding and interject questions.

Team C developed the questions before the interview to improve quality and increase the odds of gathering the appropriate information. When speaking the interviewer used voice inflection to keep the conversation lively and the mentor’s engaged and responding freely to the questions. The mentor’s were both very animated, using their hands to drive home points, using voice inflection, smiling while speaking, and using a variety of facial expressions as appropriate to the topic of the conversation. Conclusion In conclusion, the interviewer, Kelly, and Grace each demonstrated active listening skills during the focus group discussions.

Each individual used hand animation, smiled, used a variety of facial expressions, checked for understanding, acknowledged what was said, is knowledgeable, and asks questions relevant to the situation. The traits demonstrated are those of successful mentors when coaching and mentoring others. References DuBrin, J. A. (2005) Helping difficult people. Coaching and Mentoring Skills. Prentice-Hall. US Department of Transportation (M. D. ). Mentoring skills. Retrieved from http://www. au. af. mil/au/awc/awcgate/mentor/mentorhb. htm#MENTORING_SKILLS