Empathic listening

In conflict situations, we often talk past each other

and do not understand what the other person actually wants to tell us. Empathic listening can help us get to where the heart of the conflict lies. This allows conflicts to be more peaceful. This has the effect of having more energy at our disposal that we would otherwise have lost in the dispute. In addition, "Empathic Listening" can increase the sympathy and connection between you and your counterpart. If your counterpart feels that he has been understood, he is also more willing to understand your concern.

The 4-ear model

How do you react when you hear, "You look at your phone all the time!"? Do you counter? Do you think you have done something wrong? Or do you wonder what is behind it? In the GRP there is the so-called 4-ear model, which shows two more in addition to the first two reaction possibilities that you probably know. The thoughts that arise in us when we react to such a sentence are not always heard loudly. Nevertheless, these thoughts have an impact on how they interact with each other. We would like to explain the reaction possibilities with the example above:

1.) Debt ears outside

Perhaps the most common way to react is to find the other person's guilt: "You're hanging out with it all the time!" We recognize the outward-looking guilt ears by the fact that we are convinced that the other has done something wrong, and that we ourselves are right. These ears often provoke anger and accusations of guilt.

2.) Guilt ears inside

The reaction is also well known with an admission of guilt: "Yes, you're right, sorry." The guilt ears inwards include every gradation, from a small apology to big self-reproaches ("Now I've done something wrong again. I'm not for use!"). These ears can lead to shame and depressive thoughts.  The guilt ears lead to a distance between us and our counterpart.

 3.) Understanding ears inside

The CSF shows us to react without accusations of guilt to ourselves or others. The first possibility is to see how we are doing in such a situation: What triggers the sentence that has been heard in me, what feeling does it feel with me? What is the need behind this? "I'm annoyed. I want to have my peace and decide for myself how much I look at my phone. Maybe I'm concerned with relaxation and autonomy?" We can use this as a sincere self-expression for our counterpart or simply keep it for ourselves – depending on what seems appropriate to us.

4.) Understanding ears outside

The outward-looking ears of understanding are about understanding what is behind our counterpart's words, that is, perceiving feelings and needs: "Are you frustrated because it is important to you that I listen attentively? Are you concerned with respect and to be seen?"  The ears of understanding tend to lead to connection and mutual understanding.


A poem about it:

In dia

Kimm loan ma your Augn

i mog amoi duachschaugn

and hean wui i mid your ears and feel me i wia as Bluad duch your veins sausd and nacha wui i ganz staad sei and hean after there voice in dia.

(Free after Bernhard Setzwein)

In you

Come on loan to me your eyes

I want to take a look

And I want to hear with your ears and I want to feel the blood swelling through your veins, and then I will be completely silent and listen to the voice in you.