Active Listening

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Description of Active Listening. Explanation.


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Really listening...Definition Active Listening. Description.

When people talk to each other, they do not necessarily listen. The purpose of active listening is to improve mutual understanding through carefully absorbing what the other has said.

Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding to others, focusing attention on the speaker. Suspending one's own frame of reference, suspending judgment and avoiding other internal mental activities are important to fully attend to the speaker.

Active listening requires 3 things:

  • Comprehending (a shared meaning between the parties in the communication)
  • Retaining (remembering what was communicated)
  • Responding (verbal or nonverbal responses from the listener to show the message is being listened to)

Effective Communication

Besides poor listening, 4 more factors are known to prevent good communication and understanding what the other person means:

  1. Subject Complexity

    • Is the subject matter new or does the listener has experience with it?

    • Is the subject matter difficult to understand, or simple?

    • Is the subject matter interesting and important to the listener?

  2. The Speaker

    • Is the speaker experienced?

    • What are the non-verbal cues of the speaker?

    • What frame of mind is he or she?

    • How personable, threatening, intelligent, etc.?

  3. The Presentation

    • Is the information illustrated with visuals?

    • Is technology used effectively?

    • Is the information introduced logically?

    • Are concepts introduced incrementally, with examples?

  4. The Environment

    • Is the environment conducive to listening?

    • Can the listener interact and exchange information with the speaker?

    • Are there distractions that can be avoided?

Active Listening Forum
  Tips to Improve Assertiveness
Do you recognize the feeling: "When I say NO, I feel guilty..."?
According to Revelle College, UC San Diego, “One of the most common problems in communication is caused by trying to read people's minds or expecting them to read yours. If you wan...
  Is Active Listening the Opposite of Selective Listening?
I think we can understand the phrase 'Active Listening' better if we know what Selective Listening means.
In selective listening, someone hears only what (s)he wants to hear....
  Dialogue Communication Network
There is a communication dilemma that says "I know you think you understood what you thought I said, (or wrote), but I am not so sure that what you thought I said (or wrote) was what I really meant".
My point here is that we need to find a way f...
  Real Life Examples of Active Listening...
Have you ever reflected on a person who is awaiting the final judgment in court - guilty or not guilty – on the fall of the hammer? Even if a mother-of-all bomb was to fall next to him, he would have heard nothing and remained unmoved. All tha...
  What is Active Listening?
Active listening is the courage and patience one should have to allow others to change themselves....
  Beware of the Power of the Influence of Speakers
Friends, romans, countrymen, lend me your ears, I have come to bury Caesar not to praise him" - Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
All those who listened to Anthony were convinced.
So, the gist behind is that it is good to be an active listener ...
  Active Listening is 2-way
Active listening, as I understanding it, means to give back information what I understood. This is valid for both sides of a discussion, the sender and the receiver of a message.
As a sender, when my dialog partner provides in ...
  Active Listening is a Key International Competence
A key tactic to effective active listening is to check and clarify, rather than assume the understanding of others. This can be done by paraphrasing and exploring words that others use as well as the meaning they attach to them. Hence, this re...
  WHEN To Be a Good Listener?
Should one ALWAYS be a good, active listener?
I believe it depends on the quality of the dialogue and the extent of its importance to you and points for discussion and what its importance to you both on the field for a personal or technic...
  What Politics can Teach us About Listening
Politicians are incredible! They say and repeat that they are the best listeners while they never really take into account what people say.
But people are even more incredible! They want to be listened to and they criticize politics for not doin...
  Can Active Listening Make you Lonely?
Listening is of vital importance in every tenet of human interactions, from ages to now, be it business or personal life.
But, surprisingly, I have observed that, the more a person is willing to listen or listens, the more likely he'll find him...
  Listening Includes Non-Verbal Communication As Well !
Listening goes beyond words and should be extended to non-verbal communication. In some cases, the truth of what is being said lies in what is NOT said.
The listener should not only open his/her ears wide, but also all other senses to criticall...
  Tips on the HOW of Active Listening
1. The listener should repeat via rephrasing what the speaker said, e.g. ... I hear what you said: you feel that there is not enough management support on skill training...
Note that in the repeating, some rephrasing is necessary, but the...
  Comprehend, Retain and Respond
I teach adults and this is so relevant to the class room atmosphere both for me and the student. Those three items active listeners must practice are important: comprehend, retain and respond.
Most students think all there is is to get the not...
  Good Listening is Welcoming the Richness of the Sharing
Listening is about being able to put our ego at distance from the objective of the exchange, not reacting to what the other brings into the exchange, but welcoming the richness of the sharing.
We need to be clear about the objectives of it and ...
  Demonstrating How Difficult Good Listening Is | Distortion Exercise
I have run a development program on communications many times. Often I include a simple fun listening game.
- The game starts with one attendee going out of the room with the presenter.
- The presenter verbally gives some background ...
  Good Listening Allows for a Good Response
Only a good listener can become a good speaker. Because an accurate period of listening gives him/her ample time to analyze and come to a proper judgment, while a rushed, hurried reply might spoil manythings....
  Obstacles to Active Listening
The main obstacle to active listening, in my view, is often the lack of willingness to listen. It is not a simple issue of skills.
From time to time, we jump to conclusions before listening to what others are to saying, with the belief t...

Active Listening Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group


Best Practices - Active Listening Premium
  Nonviolent Communication
Somewhat in the same 'league' as Active Listening is the Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
  8 Types of Poor Listeners
Following are the 8 categories of poor listeners:
1. Mind readers - they always try to read the mind of opponent while listening to them. The will not concentrate on what is being told to them.
2. Rehearsers - this type of listener i...
  Listening Brings Success in People Management
Managing anything requires effective communication. Listening is an integral part of communication.
Speaking and writing we learn from childhood onwards. But in listening we rarely receive formal training.
But listening brings success,...

Expert Tips - Active Listening Premium

LEADER: Best Practices for Effective Leadership Behavior

Following six short behavioral tips can help you to enhance your leadership efficiency:
1. L - LISTENING: Actively listening to others will help ...
Usage (application): Leadership Behavior, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Style

Resources - Active Listening Premium

Hearing versus Listening

A comprehensive presentation about listening and how to do it well.
Includes a scheme of the steps in the listening process and the ways for effe...
Usage (application): Communicating Effectively, Active Listening, Coaching, Mentoring

Nonverbal Persuasion and Communication: Effects and Types

Presentation that describes the concept of nonverbal persuasion, including the following sections:
1. Overview of nonverbal communication: Powerf...
Usage (application): Nonverbal Persuasion, Nonverbal Communication, Sales, Selling, PR, Applying for a Job

Communication Essentials: Non-verbal, Verbal and Listening Skills

Presentation about communication skills, including non-verbal and verbal communication and listening skills. The presentation has many examples and a ...
Usage (application): Communication Skills, Personal Skills, Confidence, Power, Influence, Sincerity, Trust

The Role of Supervisor | Skills of Supervisors

This presentation elaborates on the skills that supervisors need in order to be successful in their business/organization. The presentation includes t...
Usage (application): Skills of a Supervisor, Supervisor Role, Supervisor Behavior

Practical Communication Tips for Managers

As manager you need to combine professional expertise and experience with specific character traits, interpersonal and communication skills. This vide...
Usage (application): Management Skills, Leadership Skills, Management Development, Leadership Development, Situational Leadership

How to Manage Challenging Situations and Challenging People?

This presentation is about the management of Conflicts, other challenging situations and about managing challenging people. The presentation includes ...
Usage (application): People Management, Conflict Management, Persuasion, Challenging Situations

7 Differences between Good and Great Speakers

Dianna Booher discusses 7 differences between good and great speakers:
All good speakers do good on the 7 items below, but great speakers do bett...
Usage (application): Best Practice for Speakers


Active Listening


Active Listening


Active Listening


Active Listening

Compare also: Johari Window  |  Hawthorne Effect  |  Action Learning  |  Covert Leadership  |  Abilene Paradox  |  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator  |  Storytelling  |  Employee Attitude Survey  |  Coaching  |  Mentoring

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