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Listening is one of the basic skills everyone can improve on with practice. And yes, it will require practice

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

Active listening is a communication technique. It requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said.

  1. Pay Attention – Give the speaker your undivided attention. Look at the speaker directly. Put aside distracting thoughts. Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal! This is harder than it sounds.
  2. Show That You’re Listening – Nod. Smile. Say “yes “or “uh huh”  to convey your attention.
  3. Provide Feedback – As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. Ask questions for clarification. Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically
  4. Defer Judgment – Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
  5. Respond Appropriately – Assert your opinions respectfully.
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