The Importance of Listening Skills

Listening is an important communication strategy in any field, but it is especially important in the field of public health. Why? Issues surrounding public health are high stakes. They sometimes involve life-and-death decisions or sensitive topics. Community members who are concerned about their own health and the health of those they care about may disengage if they think they are not being heard. Ultimately, they may not trust in the value of the assessment. Therefore, it is important to listen to what people have to say. Listening, then, is an essential strategy for engaging community participation in community health assessment.
For this Discussion, review this week’s Resources and the media titled Defining a Health Problem: Working to Improve Health in the Winton Hills Community. Reflect on your observations about strategies that public health professionals are using in their interactions with community members. Then, think about situations you have observed or experienced in which someone you were working with did not listen. What were the results? Consider how you might use listening strategies to engage community participation in community health assessment.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post 3-4 pages of a description of an experience you have had when working with someone who did not effectively listen and explain the outcome of this interaction. Describe two listening strategies you observed in the media or read about in the Resources that might have helped the situation and explain how. Finally, describe two listening strategies you might use to engage community participation in community health assessment and explain why.

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