Talk to Us: Who to Talk to & How to Listen
24th July is Samaritans Awareness Day, when the organisation runs its annual Talk to Us campaign which encourages people to talk, and to listen.
When anyone is going through a difficult time, being able to talk and listen is the greatest way to overcome many challenges.
Knowing who you can rely on when you need someone to listen is incredibly important. Alongside our sister company, the National Bereavement Service, Adroit’s created this quick guide to help you talk and listen more.
Who can you talk to?
- Friends and family members
This may not always be an option, but your inner circle may be able to give you the reassurance you need.
- Someone at work
Trusted fellow colleagues or a team leader may be able to listen and offer support. They may also know what support might be available from your employer, if you need it.
- Likeminded people
Groups that share the same interests as you – maybe a walking group, a social sports club or a local mens’ group – could be a great way to find people on your wavelength to talk to.
- Professional support and advisers
Often accessed for free, helplines operated by charities and advice organisations are manned by people who really know how to listen and who may be able to signpost you to other support too.
- Faith leaders
For some, faith is a source of comfort and support. Faith leaders will often lend an ear to those in the community who need it.
Want to listen better?
Being a good listener helps you to build stronger relationships, providing invaluable and trusted support for someone close to you, or a colleague or acquaintance in need of an ear.
How can you listen more effectively?
- Let them speak
Being able to speak without any interruptions is important for the other person. Allow them to say what they need to say, and give them the time and space to express themselves and their feelings.
- Face each other
Maintain good eye contact, without making the other person feel uncomfortable. You may decide to break eye contact for a moment or two so the conversation feels less intense, but try to maintain a good connection.
- Use open body language
Keep your body engaged with the conversation by leaning forward slightly while facing the other person, and try to avoid crossing arms or legs which are often thought of as defensive, ‘closed’ signals.
- Look at their body language
By reading the other person’s actions – maybe their facial expressions, whether they’re fidgeting, whether they’ve crossed their arms – you’ll be able to listen better, understanding whether they’re upset, uncomfortable, happier or more positive.
- Give positive reassurance that you’re listening
You may nod, say ‘yes’ or make other affirmative noises which will indicate that you’re listening to the other person and have heard what they’re saying, while allowing them to continue without interruption.
- Show you’ve listened
You can show you’re listening and encourage the other person to talk more by asking questions that allow them to continue and help you understand their situation better, such as “How did you feel after that?” and “Do you mean that …?”
Experienced a bereavement? Practical bereavement support from the National Bereavement Service
The National Bereavement Service supports anyone who has experienced a bereavement, including sudden or traumatic bereavement, with practical and emotional information and advice from professional bereavement advisors with real, lived experience.
We help you to comply with legal requirements following a death, provide advice on probate and support with practical arrangements such as organising and paying for a funeral, and provide a listening ear that helps you through a very difficult time.
For personal, confidential, and practical help following a bereavement, or for advice when planning your future, call the NBS on 0800 0246 121 or visit www.thenbs.org
Trusted legal support for your people by Adroit Legal Services
Established in 2015, Adroit connects your people and your customer base to quality-assured, affordable and accessible legal services from trusted and experienced experts.
Legal specialists throughout the UK are tried and tested, delivering honest advice whatever stage of life you’re at to protect your interests, family and wellbeing.
Adroit’s panel of legal practitioners offers free initial consultations and discounted rates to make legal services accessible to everyone that’s important to your organisation.
Contact Adroit Legal Services to find out how we help our clients to protect their peoples’ wellbeing with access to quality-assured, great value legal services.