The Importance Of Listening

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From time to time in our lives we have all been clients of one service or another. We might be clients of a solicitor, or of an insurance agent. We might be clients of an advice service, for example, because we are in debt or because of relationship difficulties. Most of us have had the experience of being clients of a doctor, although we are then called patients.
A service user might feel shy, nervous, hurt, angry, worthless, or insulted. As a service user, we would like to have felt: confident, assertive, valued, respected. No one is ever at their best when they need assistance of some sort, or when they are feeling low. In this position we enter a power relationship, where one person has something to give which we need, whether that be
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This quality or skill of being able to listen is the basis for much else that service users value. It makes them feel that they are valued, that their viewpoint has merit. It is the starting point for an approach to practice based on ‘co-production’ – the social worker working with the service user to find out what will help – the basis for all good practice. When they talk of social workers listening, service users also emphasise the sense of not being judged. The social worker is both well informed and anti-discriminatory. Listening is much more than a passive quality. It is the starting point for an empowering approach to practice. Also If people are listened to and recognised for their positive qualities and abilities, they may also be in a position to make decisions for themselves. If advisers or doctors respect people, they are more likely to work in a way that does not take away their right to self-determination. They are likely to work in partnership and in ways that empower …show more content…
It is seen as the crucial starting point for getting help and support on equal terms; for working with rather than on people. Service users talk of relationships based on warmth, empathy reliability and respect. It is the antithesis of form-filling approaches to assessment, which reduce the contact between service users and practitioners to a formulaic and bureaucratic contact. It is not surprising that service users sometimes talk of social work practitioners as ‘friends’, not because they confuse the professional relationship they have with them with an informal one, but because they associate it with all the best qualities they hope for from a trusted

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