Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

3.7. Active listening

ryanrori December 31, 2020

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Listening is an important part of communication. You have to apply active listening skills to hear and understand what other people are saying. You have to pay attention and focus on what the speaker says in order to respond appropriately to their comments and questions.

Listening should be active, not passive. There are several ways in which listeners can exert control in a discussion and prevent more powerful, educated or argumentative speakers from dominating the negotiation.

  • Ask searching questions and stay with them until the replies satisfy you
  • Restate the speaker’s points as you understand them, forcing him/her to clarify cloudy areas
  • Do not respond, or continue to make non‑committal responses until the speaker develops his argument more specifically
  • Paraphrase the speaker’s words, exposing the hidden cultural assumption and/or feelings of superiority.
  • Ask questions that will bring the discussion back to the basic conflict of interests if this is being blurred.

Active listening is a skill and is as important as giving orders in obtaining results.

  • Give your full attention to what is being said.
  • Make sure that you really understand.
  • Listen between the lines.
  • Look for non-verbal clues.
  • Mentally summarise and evaluate objectively.
  • Be empathetic.
  • Determine whether he expects: guidance, support, motivation, action or silence.

What makes a good listener?

This is actually a question of feedback. Good listeners use a variety of non-verbal and minimal cues to keep the other person talking. These include the use of phrases such as:

  • “Yes”
  • “I understand”
  • “And then what”
  • “Tell me more”
  • “If I understand you correctly…”

Although the above illustrates how your natural reactions to different states of emotion can influence the manner in which you speak, it must be mentioned that you can intentionally alter some or all of these factors to enhance what you are saying. 

Do not to overdo such variations as this might have exactly the opposite effect on what you are trying to communicate.

When communicating with someone else you must always strive to do it as naturally and evenly as possible.  Be yourself!!