Evidence-based Health Coaching helps patients adopt necessary behavior change through methods that differ from traditional practitioner-patient relationships. One of the approaches used in Evidence-based Health Coaching is Active Listening. Most people have a tendency to listen to others while focusing on their response, rather than listening to truly listen, absorb information, and learn from the experience. Keeping your mouth closed is, essentially, the key to active listening (Huffman, 2009).
The key to mastering this technique will be awareness and practice. When speaking with someone, be aware of your closed mouth, be aware of the words they are saying, and make sure you are focused on what they are saying and being alert in that moment. In order to practice this technique, ask someone to explain a detailed situation or incident to you. When they are finished speaking, verbalize the details you picked up on to them and have them evaluate the accuracy of the information and the amount of information you are able to recall (Huffman, 2009). By practicing this regularly you will be able to become comfortable with this approach and be able to use it more naturally.
Next week we will discuss working from the patient’s agenda rather than your own.
Huffman, M. (2009). Health Coaching: A Fresh, New Approach to Improve Quality Outcomes and Compliance for
Patients with Chronic Conditions. Home Healthcare Nurse, 27 (8), p. 490-498.