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Everything about Active Listening & Its Importance

Active listening skills

When a person can accurately receive and interpret messages in the process of communication, this is called the ability to listen. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages could easily be misunderstood. Hence, listening is key to all effective communication. Today, we will be discussing active listening skills and understanding the meaning of active listening, as well as taking a look at some great examples of active listening so we may know the importance of active listening.

Active listening is the practice of preparing to listen. It is key to observing what verbal and nonverbal messages are being sent, and then providing appropriate feedback for the sole purpose of showing attentiveness to the message being presented. This form of listening reciprocates understanding between the speaker and the listener.

Communication that involves going beyond simply hearing the words that another person speaks is an active listening skill. It also helps you build trust and understand other people’s situations and feelings. In turn, this empowers us to offer support and empathy. Unlike critical listening, active listening seeks to understand rather than reply. The goal is for the other person to be heard, feel validated, and be inspired to solve their problems.

There are various ways to improve active listening skills. One example of active listening is to watch skilled interviewers on talk and news shows. Another is to research active listening techniques online and put them into practice in your daily conversations, make a note of the speakers’ reactions, and look for areas of improvement.

The importance of active listening is a way of responding to another person and improving mutual understanding. It is a mandatory step to defuse a situation and seek solutions to any problem.

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Examples of active listening skills:

  1. Demonstrating concern.
  2. Paraphrasing to show understanding. Always show that you are listening.
  3. Use nonverbal cues that portray understanding, such as nodding, eye contact, and leaning forward.
  4. Use brief verbal affirmations such as “I see,” “I understand,” “Sure enough,” “Thank you,” or “I know.”
  5. Pay attention. The speaker should have your undivided attention and acknowledge the message received.
  6. Provide feedback. As that will help you clear any doubts as well as help the speaker.
  7. Defer judgement.
  8. Respond appropriately.

The above-mentioned tips will help you ensure that you hear the speaker and that the speaker knows that you are listening to what they say. Active listening is when you concentrate and are fully aware of what is being said rather than passively hearing what the person is trying to convey. The goal of active listening is to acquire information. Before responding, listen to understand people and the situation.

So one may ask, what is active and passive listening? Well, a one-way communication where the receiver does not give any feedback or have any questions and may or may not understand the sender’s message at all is passive listening. Active listening includes responses that demonstrate that you understand what the other person is trying to say.

Active listening is the most effective and highest level of listening. It is a great communication skill with an effective strategy. Listening carefully while showing interest and not interrupting is how one can respect the speaker. Mentioned below are some types of listening:

8 Types of Active Listening

  1. Informational listening.
  2. Discriminative listening.
  3. Biassed listening.
  4. Sympathetic listening.
  5. Comprehensive listening.
  6. Empathetic or therapeutic listening.
  7. Critical listening.
  8. Deep listening.

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Active listening means listening to someone, knowing the goal is to understand, respond to, and remember what they are saying. The listener must set aside any judgments to truly focus on what the other person has to say in active listening.

The 3 R’s of active listening are:

  1. Respect: Active listening begins with the most common courtesies.
  2. Remember: Before things go in one ear and out the other, take a moment to jot notes during your conversation.
  3. Review: Always wrap up the conversation or presentation with a summary, an action plan, the next steps, and other actions that may be needed.

The 3 P’s of active listening are:

  1. Presence listening.
  2. Perspective listening.
  3. Personas listening.

There are five stages of the listening process, which are receiving, understanding, evaluating, remembering, and responding. Mentioned below are some tips to portray active listening.

8 Tips to portray active listening

  1. Always face the speaker and make eye contact.
  2. “Listen” to verbal and nonverbal cues.
  3. Never interrupt the speaker, always seek permission.
  4. Always listen without judging or jumping to conclusions.
  5. Do not presume what the speaker will say next.
  6. Never impose your opinions or solutions, gently give feedback if needed.
  7. Always stay focused.
  8. Ask questions to clear doubts.

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So now that we know so much about active listening, one may ask why it is called active listening. Well, ‘Active listening’ means, exactly as its name suggests, actively listening. That is to fully concentrate on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the speaker’s message. Active listening involves attention with all the senses.

The importance of active listening is such that it builds trust between people, be it colleagues, friends, relatives, and it is a communication skill that empowers you to make informed decisions, resolve issues, and drive yourself towards success. Based on awareness and absorption of all the information necessary to achieve this, one can have a skill set because it encourages openness, honesty, and success. When you pay attention to the speaker, you show that person they are being heard, thus building trust and making that person feel like their words matter to you.

Active listening is the foundation of successful communication. It can promote a feeling of being valued or heard, or create a feeling of trust, strengthens relationships, and makes it a valuable place of skills. Remember to always do the following to portray active listening skills.

  1. Paraphrase and reflect back what has been said.
  2. Ask open-ended questions.
  3. Ask specific probing questions.
  4. Use short verbal affirmations.
  5. Display empathy.
  6. Share similar experiences.
  7. Recall previously shared information.
  8. Be fully present in the conversation.
  9. Show interest by practising positive eye contact.
  10. Listen to understand rather than to respond.

Mentioned above were some important examples of active listening skills that will help you build a successful interaction with anyone. To understand the true meaning of active listening, follow the below-mentioned tips. These tips will help you ensure that you hear the other person, and that the other person knows you are listening to what they say.

  1. Pay attention and give the speaker your undivided attention and acknowledge the message received.
  2. Show that you are listening by using different verbal and nonverbal nods and by asking appropriate questions.
  3. Always be open to give and take positive and negative feedback.
  4. Ensure that the responses are appropriate to the topic and not just a waste of time.

At EuroSchool, we ensure that every student has enough practice in all types of communication. And we ensure that active listening is considered and practised with priority. We give students the opportunity to have open conversations and dialogues so that they have the best of both communications, public speaking, and active listening. We ensure that they learn that it is necessary to always respect the speaker no matter where and what the discussion is all about.



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