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Attending behavior

If we listen means we attend

Attending behavior is the basic of listening skills
we all have one goal in common of listening: to
reduce interviewer talk-time while providing
clients with an opportunity to examine issues and
tell their stories.
You cant learn about the other person or the
problem while you are doing the talking
always use attending with individual and cultural
Four aspects of attending
Attending behavior

1. Visual/eye contact
2. Vocal qualities
3. Verbal tracking
4. Body language
1. Visual : pattern of eye contact
If you are going to talk to
people, look at them
notice breaks in eye contact,
both by the interviewer and
by the client (interviewee)
Interviewee often tend to
look away when thinking
carefully or discussing topics
that particularly distress
Th rough eye-contact breaks,
both types of counselors
indicate to their Interviewee
whether the topic is
When an issue is especially
interesting to Interviewee,
you may find that their eye
contact is more direct.
Interest their pupils may
tend to dilate
their pupils may contract
Cultural differences in eye
contact abound
2. Vocal qualities : Tone and Speech
Your voice is an instrument that communicates much of the
feeling you have about yourself or about the client and
what the client is talking about.
our vocal tone and speech rate indicate much of how you
feel about something or another person
Ex : if the client is stressed, youll note that in vocal tone
Ex : And if the topic is uncomfortable for you, your vocal
tone or speech rate may change as well.
Awareness of your voice and of the changes in others vocal
qualities will enhance your skill in attending to their stories.
a person underlines via volume and emphasis are often
concepts of particular importance
3. Verbal Tracking: Following the
Client or Changing the Topic
Staying with your Interviewee topic is critical
in verbal tracking, dont change the subject.
Encourage the full elaboration of the
Keep to the topic initiated by the Interviewee.
If you change the topic, be aware that you
have and realize the purpose of your change.
Interviewee change topics when they arent
What to do if you lost or puzzled about what to
say next in response to interviewee
The concept of verbal tracking
may be most helpful to the
beginning interviewer or to the
experienced interviewer.
direct attention to whatever
the Interviewee has said in the
immediate or near past
through a question or brief
You dont need to introduce a
new topic. Build on the
Interviewee topics, and you
will come to know the client
very well over time.
4. Body Language: Attentive and
In general, interviewee
know you are interested in
them if you face them
squarely and lean slightly
forward, have an expressive
face, and use facilitative,
encouraging gestures.
A person may move forward
when interested and away
when bored or frightened
As you talk, notice peoples
movements in relation to
Where should you focus your
Attending is easiest if you
focus your attention on the
Interviewee rather than on
Note what the Interviewee is
talking about, ask questions,
and make comments that
relate to Interviewees topics
Interviewers need to be aware
of their patterns of selective
attention and how they may
unconsciously direct the
For example:
Interviewee : Im so confused. I cant decide between a major in
chemistry, psychology, or language.
Interviewer :Tell me about your hobbies
Interviewer : What are your grades?
Interviewer : Tell me more, or You feel confused? or Could you tell
me a little about?
Interviewer : how each subject interests you? or Opportunities in
chemistry are promising now.
Interviewer : Could you explore that field a bit more? or How would
you like to go about making your decision?
The Value of Nonattention
There are times when it is
inappropriate to attend to
interviewees statements.
For example, a client may
talk insistently about the
same topic over and over
A depressed interviewee
Many interviewee want to
talk about only negative
In such cases, intentional
nonattending may be
The Value of Nonattention
Changing the focus of the interview may also be used to stop
needless client talk at any time during the interview.
Through failure to maintain eye contact, subtle shifts in body
posture, vocal tone, and deliberate jumps to more positive
topics, you can facilitate the interview process.
The most skilled counselors and interviewers use attending
skills to open and close interviewees talk, thus making the
most eff ective use of limited time in the interview.
What should you do when
you dont know what to do
A simple but often helpful rule for
interviewing is use attending skills when you
become lost or confused about what to do.
Simply ask the interviewee to comment
further on something just said or mentioned
earlier in the interview.