Development and validation of the active empathetic listening scale



This article presents a scale to measure active empathetic listening (AEL) of salespeople. AEL is defined as a form of listening practiced by salespeople in which traditional active listening is combined with empathy to achieve a higher form of listening. The AEL scale is composed of three dimensions: sensing, processing, and responding. Itemgeneration procedures and the results of three empirical studies are presented. Study 1 establishes that the item set is suitable for differentiating between effective and ineffective listeners from the point of view of customers. Study 2 determines that the item set is suitable for use by self-report of salespeople, establishes that it conforms to the three theoretical dimensions, and that it possesses convergent validity. Study 3 further refines the item set, confirms the dimensionality of the scale, and establishes that the scale possesses construct validity in the form of discriminant and nomological validity. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.