Active listening is one of the key skills a Funeral Celebrant needs. To be truly present and listen intently. Without distraction and with a clear mind. It is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. It does not come easily in the noise of our busy world. Being excellent at active listening will make you an exceptional Celebrant.
When you meet people in their time of grief, you never know what to expect. We all react in a unique way and there is no format you can follow. What you can do, is be engaged in your listening. This requires a level of being present that may not be something you’re used to.
In this short video, the second in our series on the skills of an exceptional Celebrant, I ask you to think about what you could do to develop your skills in this area.
If you’re keen to improve your active listening skills, take a look at this article from Very Well Mind which includes seven ways to practice.
Since Covid, many Celebrants have had more of their initial meetings with clients, over the internet. Zoom, MS Teams and others, connect us, without having to be in the same place. I encourage my students to use the camera on these services. You want to observe as much as you listen. The visual responses, the eye movements and expressions. The hand gestures and even the general posture of someone, will tell you a great deal.
This article on non-verbal communication from Help Guide, explores the topic more deeply and offers ideas on how to improve your understanding.