Memo To Support the Adoption of Active Listening in Medical Practice

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Memo To Support the Adoption of Active Listening To; Medical Practice Staff From; Office Manager Re; Active Listening Active listening may offer a great deal of potential to increase the effectiveness of communication which takes within the practice, creating increased clarity and reducing the potential for misunderstandings, especially with patients who may be emotional or find communication difficult. Research by Street and Haidet (2011), looked specifically at communication between doctors and patients, and found frequent significant gap between physicians' perception of the patients' health concerns and actual beliefs and concerns, creating the potential for misunderstanding. Factors that were attributed to the problem were presumptions and communication issues between the two parties. While this research looked at doctors, other authors have extended this to different healthcare professions, applying to both patient and peer communication (Propp et al., 2010; Beam et al., 2010). Active listening is a technique which the listener in the conversation will repeat the message they have heard back to the speaker, in order to gain confirmation that their understanding is correct. The idea is that in communication there are distractions; for example, in a conversation the parties' communication may be waiting for a pause in the conversation so that they can speak; this detracts from the attention they are paying to the speaker. Likewise, if one party to the conversation

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