I ventured to analyze myself in the video critically through four key listening skills of Non-verbal Communication, Verbal Communication, Questioning for Understanding, and Paraphrasing.
The very first quality of an effective listener is to create a comfortable environment for the speaker. In this context, I employed non-verbal elements such as body posture, body language, and facial expressions in many ways. In the journal ("Developing Effective Communication Skills", the author states how important it is for the speaker and listener to be in the same posture, that is, sitting or standing (2009). I use this strategy by ensuring both of us were sitting and facing each other and my eyes were at the same level with him. I also made sure there was the right amount of space between us with no tangible barriers like furniture, and my hands were not crossed or clasped behind my neck . All these conveyed to Jimmy a sense of comfort and ease rather than a feeling of hostility or guarded behavior from my side. However, it would have been more ideal to have a warmer environment. I constantly made eye contact and at 1:57, I leaned forward to represent understanding and interest through my body posture. In order to avoid blank expressions, at points 00:58 and 1:09, I smiled at Jimmy or changed my facial or physical expressions as he did. This is as known as the mirroring technique where I match his physical gestures. Dr. Walker says “Mirroring someone’s expressions and gestures indicates that you are in step with them” (2009). Another effective skill I used is to nod and emit vocal sounds such as ‘mmm’ and ‘ahan’ during the first minute to demonstrate I was listening and to help him on overcome his hesitation. I took care to not move around too much so as not to distract Jimmy. I kept in mind to smile and laugh at the right time such as at 1:25