What is ACTIVE LISTENING?
Active listening is the first necessary step to performing meaningful and effective interaction. This is the moment when our attention is focused on the other person.
In simple words, active listening is ‘being present’ during a conversation and showing that you are listening and understand what the other person is talking to you.
What are the benefits of active listening?
Using active listening techniques can help build respect and trust between the interlocutor and the listener. Active listening triggers commitment and helps to understand the other person’s way of thinking.
When it comes to benefits closely related to professional work, active listening improves cooperation and stimulates teamwork, improves conflict resolution, and improves project management.
Behaviors to be avoided when interacting with another person:
- assuming you know what the other person wants to tell you
- ending sentences for the interlocutor
- changing the topic of conversation
- ignoring the speaker’s feelings
- putting answers in your head while the other person is still speaking
Active listening is nothing other than giving the interlocutor to understand that we are truly interested in what he is talking to us. The basic communication techniques are:
We directly name our intentions, e.g .:
- It is important for us to communicate …
- This is not an easy situation for me …
- I am responsible for your case and therefore …
- I am asking because I want to understand the situation, to decide what to do next …
We ask questions about particulars and ask about all inaccuracies, e.g .:
- When exactly did you receive the e-mail?
- What exactly is unclear to you?
- What else raises your doubts?
Paraphrase it a repetition in your own words of what your interlocutor told you. it is a commonly known procedure, but not used and appreciated often enough. It helps to develop empathy and demonstrates that the listener is actively concentrating on the narrative the communicator is trying to convey.
We tell someone what we think are his/her feelings, e.g. “If I understand you correctly, you are feeling (emotion) because of (action/event). Is that accurate?”
Reflected meaning focuses on the factual message of the speaker instead of emotional communication.
Specifying, bringing the interlocutor to the main conversation threads, making summaries, e.g.:
- Let’s return to the main conversation thread …
- Let’s go back to the point we left …
- So far, we’ve said that …
By actively listening, you show that you really listen, hear, and understand. You build interest showing that what someone is saying is important. By following the principles of communication presented, you can improve your relationships and better convince yourself of your ideas.
If you want find out more about the topic of ACTIVE LISTENING check out THIS article.