Roadblocks to Communication: Using Empathic Listening Lead-ins in HPC

In hospice palliative care we want to provide patients and family opportunities for conversations around death and dying. This podcast describes empathic listening lead-ins to use with patients and family to encourage conversation as well as strategies to “being” with the individual in the conversation.


  • 0’00” Start
  • 0’07” Roadblocks to communication -remember to carry the awareness with us.
  • 0’36 ” Alternatives to roadblocks – empathic listening leadins.
  • 1’10” “Tell me more” “I wonder if…” “How is that for you?” “What does that mean for you?”
  • 2’02” Think about a time when you really wanted to understand someone?
  • 2’51” Be open, listen, hear, validate, and use those phrases to be present with the individual in the moment.
  • 3’37 Summary of roadblocks to communication.

Chapter 5, On Being Up Close and Personal with the Dying, in Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care, 2nd Edition, Katherine Murray, 2009.

Written and recorded by Elizabeth Causton
All Rights Reserved Life and Death Matters 2010