Active Listening

Active Listening

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.

For instance:

  • We listen to obtain information.
  • We listen to understand.
  • We listen for enjoyment.
  • We listen to learn.

Given all this listening we do, you would think we’d be good at it! In fact most of us are not, and research suggests that we remember between 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear. That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation. This is dismal!

Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren’t hearing the whole message either. You hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50 percent, but what if they’re not?

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What’s more, you’ll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success!

Tip:

Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness . By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating good and lasting impressions with others.

 

About Active Listening

The way to improve your listening skills is to practice “active listening.” This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.

In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully.

You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments that you’ll make when the other person stops speaking. Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying. All of these contribute to a lack of listening and understanding.

Tip:

If you’re finding it particularly difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, try repeating their words mentally as they say them – this will reinforce their message and help you stay focused.

To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what he or she is saying. To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you’ve ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying. You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it’s even worthwhile continuing to speak. It feels like talking to a brick wall and it’s something you want to avoid.

 

Acknowledgement can be something as simple as a nod of the head or a simple “uh huh.” You aren’t necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening. Using body language and other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention and not let your mind wander.

You should also try to respond to the speaker in a way that will both encourage him or her to continue speaking, so that you can get the information if you need. While nodding and “uh huhing” says you’re interested, an occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message as well.

Tip:

Be aware that active listening can give others the impression that you agree with them even if you don’t. It’s also important to avoid using active listening as a checklist of actions to follow, rather than really listening. It may help to practice Mindful Listening  if you find that you begin to lose focus.

dave

Comments (55)

  1. I would like to show my passion for your kind-heartedness supporting persons who really want help with the field. Your real dedication to passing the solution throughout was exceptionally valuable and has regularly encouraged guys like me to arrive at their objectives. This important guide denotes a lot a person like me and extremely more to my mates. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

  2. I simply desired to say thanks again. I do not know what I could possibly have worked on without the opinions provided by you directly on this subject matter. It seemed to be a hard situation for me personally, however , finding out the very expert form you managed it took me to cry for fulfillment. I’m happier for this guidance and as well , believe you comprehend what an amazing job you are providing instructing others through your web blog. I am sure you’ve never met all of us.

  3. I actually wanted to write down a quick message so as to say thanks to you for these fantastic information you are placing on this site. My prolonged internet look up has at the end been rewarded with good concept to talk about with my neighbours. I ‘d admit that most of us site visitors actually are rather blessed to live in a remarkable site with very many awesome people with interesting methods. I feel quite grateful to have discovered your entire website and look forward to some more thrilling minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.

  4. I definitely wanted to jot down a note so as to thank you for all of the splendid hints you are writing on this website. My extended internet lookup has finally been compensated with reliable strategies to go over with my companions. I ‘d mention that we site visitors are very much lucky to exist in a remarkable network with so many awesome individuals with great principles. I feel really fortunate to have used the site and look forward to tons of more pleasurable times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.

  5. I wanted to write you a very small remark to finally give thanks again about the pretty suggestions you’ve shared above. It is quite strangely open-handed with people like you giving easily all a lot of people would have marketed for an e book to make some bucks for themselves, especially now that you might well have tried it in case you decided. Those principles as well served to be a good way to know that other individuals have similar interest much like my very own to find out whole lot more when considering this condition. I am sure there are several more pleasant times in the future for those who looked at your site.

  6. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally splendid possiblity to read critical reviews from here. It is often so awesome plus jam-packed with fun for me and my office friends to visit your website not less than 3 times in 7 days to see the newest guidance you will have. And lastly, we’re usually impressed considering the splendid advice you serve. Selected 1 ideas in this post are without a doubt the best I’ve ever had.

  7. I have to point out my appreciation for your generosity for those people that actually need help with the concern. Your very own dedication to passing the message across has been particularly significant and has constantly allowed guys like me to reach their desired goals. Your own warm and helpful information means a great deal to me and further more to my mates. Regards; from everyone of us.

  8. I have to show my thanks to you for rescuing me from this particular issue. Just after browsing through the search engines and obtaining strategies which are not beneficial, I was thinking my life was well over. Existing devoid of the solutions to the issues you’ve sorted out by means of the website is a crucial case, and those which might have badly affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across the website. The know-how and kindness in touching all the things was excellent. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not discovered such a thing like this. I am able to now relish my future. Thank you very much for this impressive and amazing help. I won’t be reluctant to propose your web page to any person who requires counselling about this matter.

  9. A lot of thanks for all your valuable effort on this web page. Betty loves participating in investigations and it is simple to grasp why. A lot of people know all concerning the compelling way you make informative items through your website and as well as improve participation from visitors about this situation then our favorite simple princess is without question becoming educated so much. Have fun with the rest of the year. You’re doing a stunning job.

  10. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with remarkably splendid chance to read critical reviews from this web site. It’s usually very fantastic and as well , stuffed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office mates to visit your web site more than 3 times in a week to study the newest tips you have. Of course, I’m also always fascinated with your good tips and hints served by you. Some two ideas on this page are essentially the best we have ever had.

  11. I simply needed to thank you so much again. I’m not certain what I would’ve made to happen in the absence of those aspects revealed by you regarding my topic. Completely was an absolute daunting scenario for me personally, however , viewing this well-written mode you handled it forced me to leap over joy. Extremely happier for the help and then have high hopes you know what a powerful job your are doing teaching most people via your web blog. Most probably you’ve never encountered any of us.

  12. I must express my thanks to you for rescuing me from such a challenge. After surfing through the online world and getting tricks which were not beneficial, I figured my life was gone. Existing devoid of the solutions to the issues you have resolved through your main guideline is a crucial case, as well as the ones that might have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I hadn’t encountered the website. Your good talents and kindness in playing with the whole lot was invaluable. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not come upon such a point like this. It’s possible to at this point look forward to my future. Thanks for your time very much for this skilled and amazing help. I will not hesitate to refer the sites to anyone who requires guide about this matter.

  13. I simply needed to appreciate you once more. I do not know the things I might have made to happen without these tricks documented by you regarding such area of interest. It truly was a frightening problem in my circumstances, but viewing the well-written tactic you processed that forced me to weep for joy. I am thankful for this advice and thus trust you find out what an amazing job you’re accomplishing instructing people today thru your blog post. Probably you haven’t come across any of us.

  14. Thanks for each of your labor on this site. My niece really loves doing internet research and it’s easy to see why. My spouse and i hear all regarding the lively tactic you render functional techniques by means of the web blog and even invigorate response from other ones about this concern plus my princess is in fact starting to learn a great deal. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. Your performing a splendid job.

  15. I truly wanted to post a remark to say thanks to you for all of the superb solutions you are giving at this website. My rather long internet look up has now been honored with brilliant points to talk about with my colleagues. I would point out that many of us visitors are truly lucky to exist in a notable place with so many lovely professionals with beneficial opinions. I feel very happy to have seen your website page and look forward to really more exciting moments reading here. Thank you once more for everything.

  16. I happen to be writing to let you know what a beneficial experience my cousin’s princess went through viewing your blog. She picked up plenty of pieces, with the inclusion of how it is like to have an excellent giving style to let men and women without problems learn specified problematic subject matter. You undoubtedly did more than our own expected results. Many thanks for offering those warm and friendly, trusted, revealing and cool tips about the topic to Lizeth.

  17. My wife and i ended up being quite contented that Ervin managed to complete his studies via the ideas he came across while using the web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to simply always be freely giving concepts which often some other people might have been making money from. And now we know we need the website owner to give thanks to for that. The most important explanations you made, the easy blog menu, the relationships your site make it easier to create – it is all astounding, and it’s letting our son and the family believe that that concept is thrilling, which is certainly seriously vital. Thank you for the whole lot!

  18. Thanks so much for giving everyone an exceptionally nice opportunity to read in detail from here. It can be so awesome and also full of a great time for me personally and my office mates to visit the blog at the very least 3 times in one week to read through the fresh secrets you have. And of course, I’m actually happy concerning the perfect inspiring ideas you give. Some 2 areas in this post are easily the very best we have all ever had.

  19. I have to voice my appreciation for your generosity for individuals that should have guidance on this particular study. Your real commitment to getting the solution throughout had become certainly insightful and have always encouraged workers just like me to arrive at their desired goals. Your personal valuable suggestions indicates much to me and far more to my mates. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

  20. I happen to be commenting to let you understand what a superb encounter my child undergone viewing your site. She discovered too many issues, with the inclusion of what it’s like to possess a very effective giving mindset to make other individuals very easily have an understanding of various hard to do subject matter. You really did more than her expectations. Thank you for presenting those beneficial, trustworthy, informative not to mention fun guidance on this topic to Ethel.

  21. I needed to create you a little bit of word so as to thank you so much the moment again for the precious tricks you’ve featured in this case. This has been strangely generous with people like you to give easily what a number of people might have made available for an electronic book in order to make some profit for themselves, most importantly since you could have done it if you ever wanted. Those good ideas additionally served to become good way to fully grasp some people have the identical eagerness similar to my personal own to understand many more with respect to this problem. I know there are several more fun instances ahead for many who examine your site.

  22. I and also my friends were actually analyzing the great solutions on your site then the sudden I had an awful feeling I never expressed respect to the website owner for those strategies. All the guys are actually stimulated to learn all of them and have in actuality been taking advantage of those things. Appreciation for being indeed helpful and also for deciding upon such impressive subject matter most people are really desirous to discover. My sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.

  23. My wife and i were very fortunate Ervin could carry out his researching while using the precious recommendations he was given through the web pages. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be handing out guidelines that many some others could have been trying to sell. And we all discover we have got you to give thanks to because of that. The specific illustrations you have made, the easy blog menu, the friendships you can give support to engender – it is mostly superb, and it is assisting our son and us reason why that situation is thrilling, and that’s particularly fundamental. Many thanks for all the pieces!

  24. I precisely had to say thanks once more. I am not sure what I would’ve gone through without these ways documented by you on my subject. It actually was a real scary case in my position, however , noticing this professional technique you resolved that took me to weep with contentment. I am grateful for this help and in addition pray you comprehend what a great job you have been carrying out teaching others via your blog post. More than likely you have never got to know all of us.

  25. I’m writing to let you be aware of of the terrific experience my child went through reading through your web site. She even learned so many details, most notably what it is like to possess an incredible teaching mood to let others easily know just exactly various multifaceted subject matter. You truly surpassed visitors’ expected results. Many thanks for supplying such interesting, safe, revealing as well as unique tips about this topic to Kate.

  26. I and also my buddies happened to be reading the good guides found on the blog while quickly got an awful suspicion I had not thanked the web site owner for them. Most of the young men are actually for this reason stimulated to learn all of them and now have truly been making the most of those things. We appreciate you really being well accommodating as well as for using this sort of fantastic useful guides most people are really desperate to learn about. Our sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to earlier.

  27. My spouse and i felt absolutely more than happy that Chris managed to carry out his studies using the precious recommendations he had while using the weblog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply choose to be handing out hints which often most people may have been making money from. And we consider we have the blog owner to give thanks to for that. The type of illustrations you have made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you will make it possible to create – it is all impressive, and it’s really making our son in addition to the family reason why the article is cool, and that is quite fundamental. Thanks for the whole thing!

  28. I would like to show appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from such a scenario. Right after browsing throughout the the net and meeting tips which were not productive, I assumed my entire life was gone. Existing minus the answers to the problems you’ve fixed as a result of your short post is a critical case, as well as the kind that would have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t discovered your web page. Your personal talents and kindness in touching a lot of stuff was crucial. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t discovered such a step like this. It’s possible to at this time look forward to my future. Thank you so much for your reliable and effective help. I won’t be reluctant to recommend your web site to anyone who should have care about this topic.

  29. I together with my buddies have already been looking at the good secrets and techniques from your web blog and so immediately I had a terrible suspicion I had not thanked the site owner for those techniques. Most of the people ended up so glad to study all of them and now have sincerely been having fun with those things. We appreciate you being indeed accommodating as well as for picking such tremendous subject matter millions of individuals are really needing to be informed on. Our own honest apologies for not expressing appreciation to earlier.

  30. I simply needed to thank you very much again. I am not sure the things I would’ve made to happen without the entire recommendations provided by you about this problem. This was a very frightful crisis in my opinion, but considering the specialised way you treated that made me to jump over fulfillment. Extremely happier for the advice as well as wish you recognize what a great job you happen to be providing instructing men and women using your websites. I am certain you haven’t encountered any of us.

  31. Thank you so much for providing individuals with a very superb opportunity to check tips from this blog. It can be very terrific and also stuffed with amusement for me personally and my office mates to visit your website minimum thrice in one week to read the new issues you will have. And lastly, I am at all times contented for the impressive points served by you. Selected 1 areas on this page are ultimately the most beneficial we have all had.

  32. I wanted to develop a simple remark to appreciate you for some of the unique tips and tricks you are showing here. My considerable internet lookup has finally been paid with wonderful knowledge to share with my friends and family. I ‘d believe that many of us visitors are unquestionably fortunate to dwell in a fantastic site with many perfect individuals with beneficial methods. I feel very fortunate to have seen the website and look forward to some more cool times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for everything.

  33. I wanted to create you that very little word to help say thanks over again on the great concepts you’ve contributed here. This is really open-handed with people like you to present publicly what exactly numerous people could possibly have offered for sale as an e-book to help with making some bucks for themselves, notably since you might well have done it if you ever considered necessary. Those creative ideas also acted to provide a fantastic way to be certain that the rest have similar eagerness really like mine to understand very much more around this issue. I’m sure there are millions of more fun instances ahead for individuals that see your blog.

  34. Thanks a lot for providing individuals with a very pleasant chance to read critical reviews from this web site. It is always very kind and also stuffed with a good time for me personally and my office co-workers to search your website no less than 3 times weekly to read through the fresh items you have. Of course, I am also certainly happy concerning the powerful hints you serve. Certain 4 facts in this article are completely the most impressive we’ve ever had.

  35. I must voice my love for your generosity giving support to persons who have the need for assistance with this one topic. Your very own dedication to passing the message all over was extremely advantageous and has consistently helped guys much like me to achieve their aims. Your amazing warm and friendly guideline implies so much a person like me and especially to my peers. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  36. Thanks so much for providing individuals with such a spectacular opportunity to check tips from this web site. It is often very amazing and as well , jam-packed with amusement for me personally and my office acquaintances to search your web site nearly thrice per week to read the newest secrets you will have. Not to mention, I am also certainly pleased considering the splendid principles served by you. Some two areas in this article are definitely the simplest I’ve had.

  37. I’m also writing to make you be aware of what a fine discovery my cousin’s daughter gained checking your site. She noticed lots of details, with the inclusion of what it’s like to have an incredible coaching spirit to get folks with no trouble gain knowledge of certain grueling topics. You really did more than her expectations. Thank you for churning out these priceless, trustworthy, edifying and even easy tips about the topic to Sandra.

  38. I must convey my affection for your generosity for persons who actually need assistance with your idea. Your very own commitment to getting the message all over ended up being unbelievably insightful and have continuously empowered some individuals like me to get to their pursuits. Your new informative advice entails much a person like me and extremely more to my office colleagues. Thank you; from everyone of us.

  39. I really wanted to post a simple message to appreciate you for some of the precious facts you are posting here. My particularly long internet look up has finally been recognized with high-quality points to write about with my contacts. I ‘d point out that we visitors are undoubtedly lucky to dwell in a remarkable community with very many lovely people with insightful plans. I feel truly lucky to have come across your website and look forward to tons of more fabulous minutes reading here. Thank you again for a lot of things.

  40. I precisely desired to say thanks once more. I’m not certain what I would’ve handled in the absence of the entire advice documented by you concerning this concern. It had been a frightening problem in my circumstances, nevertheless being able to view your professional mode you dealt with it took me to leap for joy. I am just happy for the service and thus expect you recognize what a great job you’re getting into instructing men and women via your webblog. More than likely you have never encountered all of us.

  41. I actually wanted to make a brief comment to say thanks to you for all of the awesome guidelines you are giving out at this website. My particularly long internet lookup has now been honored with incredibly good tips to share with my guests. I would say that most of us site visitors are undeniably endowed to live in a superb site with very many lovely people with useful advice. I feel very much grateful to have come across your site and look forward to plenty of more brilliant times reading here. Thanks again for a lot of things.

  42. I needed to write you that very small note to be able to thank you the moment again for these precious solutions you have shown at this time. It is so surprisingly generous with people like you to present extensively precisely what a lot of people would’ve advertised for an electronic book in order to make some money for their own end, most importantly considering that you could have done it if you ever decided. Those tactics in addition served as the good way to realize that other individuals have the same dreams like mine to figure out way more with regard to this issue. I believe there are a lot more fun instances in the future for many who read through your blog.

  43. My spouse and i have been quite peaceful when John could finish up his basic research through the entire precious recommendations he received from your blog. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be releasing guidance which the rest may have been selling. And now we consider we need you to give thanks to because of that. The type of illustrations you have made, the straightforward site menu, the friendships you can give support to create – it’s got all astonishing, and it is letting our son in addition to us consider that that topic is enjoyable, which is exceedingly indispensable. Many thanks for everything!

  44. I simply desired to say thanks again. I’m not certain what I would’ve handled without those hints shared by you regarding my industry. It truly was the alarming scenario in my opinion, however , viewing a skilled fashion you managed the issue forced me to jump with contentment. Extremely happy for the guidance and even sincerely hope you comprehend what an amazing job you are always doing training people today through the use of your websites. I am sure you’ve never come across any of us.

  45. I precisely had to thank you very much once more. I am not sure the things I might have made to happen in the absence of the entire concepts revealed by you on such situation. It truly was a daunting issue in my position, nevertheless understanding a skilled strategy you dealt with the issue took me to weep for joy. Now i’m happier for the work and then hope you recognize what a powerful job you happen to be getting into teaching many people via a site. I’m certain you have never met all of us.

  46. I’m just commenting to make you be aware of what a wonderful experience my wife’s girl went through reading through the blog. She came to find a wide variety of issues, most notably how it is like to possess a very effective giving style to get many others effortlessly fully grasp some problematic topics. You really did more than our desires. I appreciate you for presenting these valuable, dependable, educational and unique thoughts on the topic to Kate.

  47. I intended to post you this tiny remark in order to say thank you once again for your striking guidelines you’ve shown on this page. It is simply surprisingly generous of you to supply freely precisely what many individuals would’ve sold for an e-book to end up making some profit for themselves, mostly seeing that you could have done it if you ever wanted. These good ideas in addition acted to be the easy way to understand that other people online have similar zeal really like my very own to understand way more on the topic of this problem. Certainly there are many more fun instances in the future for individuals that scan through your website.

  48. My wife and i ended up being thankful that Peter managed to do his investigations out of the precious recommendations he made using your web site. It is now and again perplexing just to be making a gift of ideas which usually some other people could have been making money from. We fully grasp we have got the website owner to give thanks to because of that. All of the explanations you’ve made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you can make it easier to instill – it’s got many amazing, and it is letting our son and our family do think the matter is satisfying, which is unbelievably indispensable. Thank you for everything!

  49. Thanks a lot for giving everyone remarkably remarkable opportunity to discover important secrets from here. It’s usually very beneficial and also jam-packed with fun for me and my office mates to visit your site at the very least 3 times in 7 days to find out the new stuff you have. And of course, I am just at all times fascinated concerning the wonderful tips and hints you give. Some two points in this posting are clearly the very best I’ve ever had.

  50. Thank you so much for giving everyone such a spectacular chance to read in detail from this blog. It is always very great and as well , stuffed with a great time for me and my office colleagues to visit your blog on the least thrice in 7 days to study the newest issues you have got. And of course, I’m just certainly impressed concerning the mind-boggling principles you give. Selected 2 areas in this article are really the finest I’ve had.

  51. My wife and i got now fortunate John could complete his researching because of the ideas he came across when using the web pages. It’s not at all simplistic to just continually be releasing guidelines which usually other folks have been making money from. And we also do understand we have the website owner to appreciate because of that. Those illustrations you’ve made, the straightforward web site menu, the relationships you can help to create – it is all fantastic, and it is facilitating our son and our family reckon that this subject is brilliant, which is certainly exceedingly pressing. Thanks for the whole thing!

  52. I am just writing to let you know of the terrific encounter my wife’s daughter obtained viewing your site. She came to find numerous things, which included how it is like to possess an amazing teaching nature to have the others clearly fully grasp various multifaceted issues. You undoubtedly exceeded our own expectations. Thanks for displaying these effective, safe, explanatory as well as cool tips on this topic to Lizeth.

  53. I together with my friends happened to be viewing the good hints located on the blog and all of the sudden I had an awful suspicion I never thanked the site owner for those techniques. All the people were absolutely excited to see all of them and already have truly been having fun with those things. Thanks for genuinely quite kind and also for figuring out some amazing themes most people are really desperate to be informed on. My very own honest regret for not saying thanks to sooner.

  54. Needed to write you one very small remark to finally say thanks again for those remarkable solutions you have shared in this case. This is certainly generous with you to present publicly precisely what a number of us would have sold for an electronic book in order to make some profit for themselves, most notably seeing that you could possibly have tried it in the event you decided. These tactics in addition acted to become good way to fully grasp that most people have similar interest just as my very own to figure out a whole lot more with respect to this matter. I am certain there are many more pleasant times in the future for people who discover your website.

  55. My husband and i were quite happy Chris could conclude his basic research with the ideas he got in your web page. It is now and again perplexing to simply happen to be handing out solutions that many some other people have been making money from. And we remember we have got the blog owner to thank for this. Those explanations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the relationships you help instill – it’s got most great, and it’s aiding our son and us believe that this content is excellent, which is certainly really pressing. Thanks for all!

Post a Comment