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.
- 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.
- Show That You’re Listening – Nod. Smile. Say “yes “or “uh huh” to convey your attention.
- Provide Feedback – As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. Ask questions for clarification. Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically
- Defer Judgment – Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
- Respond Appropriately – Assert your opinions respectfully.