Active listening is a way to show respect for values, concerns and feelings, relieve the pressure of high emotions, help the speaker organize their thoughts while allowing the listener to recognize concerns without endorsing them. This COCo tool outlines active listening techniques and talks about various approaches to conflict. While many of you may be familiar with active listening techniques already, this tool dives into using those techniques to help your coworkers, other activists, or volunteers resolve problems by figuring out their underlying needs. This tool helps you develop an interest-based approach to conflict. Interest-based approaches ask the question “what needs or underlying interests are you trying to address by taking a certain position?” It involves identifying underlying needs of the particular individuals in the conflict to generate new ways of meeting as many needs as possible.
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