Listening and Speaking Actively

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Running Head: DEVELOPING SELF- AWARENESS 1

DEVELOPING SELF- AWARENESS 2

What is SELF?
The definition of self has intrigued many people throughout the ages. Ancient conceptions defined self in terms of a soul; a “vital, immaterial, life-principle, or ‘essence’ of humans” (Baldwin, 2000, p.41). Today self is defined as the total essential or particular being of a person; the individual. But what really is self? Gerry Fewster, (2001) argues that self exists at the core of our experiencing. Some might say that self is not only the core of our experience, but of our existence, the centrality of that which we are. Self has become “central to the effective helping process in all aspects of the system from service design to delivery” (Garfat and Charles, 2006, p.7). Self can mean being self-aware, and that knowledge, awareness, and understanding all about self are key (Ranahan, 2000; Ricks, 2006). Garfat and Charles (2006) state that “knowing self is not a tool, a technique or a strategy. It is a way of being; being in awareness, being present” (p.6). Garfat and Charles emphasize on ‘knowing self’, because our interpretations are influenced by our particular way of perceiving and experiencing. Traditional ideas of knowing self generally apply to the field of work, Seaton, (2003) declares that effectiveness on knowing self as an active listener and speaker relies upon a workers ability to “regulate, adjust, and fine tune themselves to the specific needs and situation of the client, to be conscious”(p.54). Frances Ricks (2001) had agreed that without these abilities, and “without self, there is no such thing as other”. Garfat and Charles (2006) and Mishna and Bogo (2007) expand on the relational use of self. The focus is on self reflection and authenticity. Developing the skill of active awareness DEVELOPING SELF-AWARENESS...
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