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These are some ideas about how to listen, categories of skills, and matching activity.

Avoid distractions.
Don’t interrupt the speaker.
Don’t rehearse your response.
Identify the fundamental points.
Make the message familiar.
What is fact, and what is opinion?
Was the speaker demonstrating any particular prejudice with their message?
What portions of the message, if any, were exaggerated?
What parts of their message were interpreted, and which parts were unbiased?
What was the speaker’s intent with their message?
Don’t complete the speaker’s sentences.
Address the speaker’s points.
Both counselors and coaches use listening skills and many of these cross over to the other service. However, this next list will highlight what techniques are emphasized more in one group versus another. It is not comprehensive. It is meant to demonstrate

Pink = skills usually reserved for counselors

Green =skills usually employed by coaches

Spheres of Influence: This assessment tool will get the individual to look at areas of their life and see which areas may be impacting and influencing them. The person’s job is to figure out which systems in their life give them strength, and which ones give them stress. Some spheres of influence to consider are: themselves, immediate family, friends, husband or wife, extended family, job or school, community, culture or religion, and any external influences.

Clarification: A counselor should often ask their client to clarify what they are telling them to make sure they understand the situation correctly. This will help the counselor avoid any misconceptions or avoid them having to make any assumptions that could hinder their feedback.
Client Expectations: When a person enters therapy, they should voice their opinions about counseling and their beliefs about treatment. In the beginning, they should be able to communicate with their counselor as to what they expect to get out of counseling. This can help the counselor guide and direct their counseling accordingly.
Confrontation: This does not mean the client confronting the therapist, or vice versa. The confrontation that should happen here is within the client. The client should be able to self-examine themselves during counseling. However, the speed at which they do this should be discussed between the counselor and the client.

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