For better Mental Health – Lanes Group’s Top Tips for Listening!

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Lanes Group’s Top Tips for Listening!

The 24th of July is known as 24/7 Samaritans Awareness Day. This day helps to raise awareness for Samaritans 24-hour service across the UK.

Samaritans is a charity that offers people a chance to talk when they most need it. Any time, any day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Every six seconds, somebody contacts Samaritans for their help.

Recent studies suggest that one-third of the British public suffer from mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression or stress!

Add in a global pandemic, this number could be considerably greater.

Their amazing team of volunteers give up their time to ensure the safety of others. They listen to others when they are at their worst and offer genuine support.

You may have a friend, family member or colleague at work that doesn’t seem to be in a good place, so we have devised a list of 5 listening tips so that you can offer your support to your peers.

Number One: Pay attention to what isn’t said – gestured actions.

If the conversation that you are having is face to face, remember to look out for any movements or tones about their person.

For example, if a particular subject is brought up and the person begins to stutter or fumble their words, then try to move the conversation on.

It is obvious the topic of conversation is uncomfortable for them and therefore shouldn’t be pushed.

Number Two: Try not to interrupt, but acknowledge that you’re listening.

Depending on the nature of the conversation, it might not be a good idea to interrupt the speaker when they are in mid-flow.

Instead wait for any pauses, so that you don’t disrupt their trail of thought, as it may be difficult for the speaker to get back to their point.

Good non-verbal indicators that you are listening are nodding, smiling, or eye contact.

Number Three: Be alert, but remain relaxed.

You may be worried about your friend or colleague’s mental health, but one of the worst things that you can do is be too eager or anxious yourself.

Fussing over the person, or asking them repeatedly if they are OK, or comfortable is just distracting and counter-productive.

Maintain eye contact with the speaker, but don’t stare.

Number Four: Offer your solution, if wanted.

If the speaker asks for advice, then, of course, offer them your opinion. But if they haven’t then they probably don’t want your suggestions.

Most people want to find solutions to their problems themselves, and would rather have someone listen to them and help them to get things off their chest.

If your solution would be a great addition to the conversation, then ask permission to share your view, “Would you like to hear my thoughts?”.

Number Five: Take your time.

Some issues that people with mental health issues, want to speak about are very sensitive topics that need your full attention.

If you know that you have to run to a meeting in five minutes, notify the person and ensure them that you will call them when you have more time.

Understanding that certain subjects require long period times is essential, and makes you a great listener!

These are just some ideas that we have that may benefit you if you need to listen to a friend, family member or colleague soon.

Remember that even with all of the tips, the number one rule is to be there for them. Set some time aside and let the speaker become comfortable with you.

Samaritans are there for you, like we said, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They can be contacted at 116 123. Or visit their site to find other ways to keep in touch!

Lanes Group plc is the UK’s largest drainage contractor with three branded companies and several operating divisions across the UK.

If you need any assistance with drains, call the professionals on 0800 526 488.

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