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Attending Behavior

Good attending behavior demonstrates that you respect a person and are interested in what he/she has to say. The effect of attending is an encouragement to the person to go on talking about his/her ideas or feelings freely. Without using words, you are communicating that you are listening to the person. There are several components of good attending behavior:

  • Eye Contact: Looking at a person is one way of showing interest in that person. However, you can make a person feel uncomfortable if you stare at them too intensely. The best way of showing that you are listening to someone is by looking at them naturally.
  • Posture: This is a natural response of interest. It’s best to lean slightly towards the person in a relaxed manner. Relaxation is important, since you want to shift focus from yourself so that you are better able to listen to the person you are talking with.
  • Gesture: You communicate a great deal with your body movements. If you flail wildly with your hands or if you cross your arms over your chest and hunch your shoulders with your head bent downwards, you are very likely to communicate some unintended messages.
  • Facial Expressions: A good listener’s facial expressions indicate responsiveness. Examples: smiling, eye-brow raising, frowning, when appropriate.
  • Verbal Behavior: A good listener’s comments relate to what the other person is saying. By directing your comments and questions to the topics provided by your friend, you show interest in what he or she is saying.
by Clark, Leslie A. last modified Oct 04, 2012 03:36 PM
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