Tips on the HOW of Active Listening

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Active Listening > Forum > Tips on the HOW of Active Listening

Tips on the HOW of Active Listening
tan liong choon, Management Consultant, Singapore, Member
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 meaning and message of the speaker should be kept unchanged.
2. Ask the speaker whether what you have just rephrased is the correct translation of what the speaker just said, e.g. ... is my understanding of what you said correct?
3. Be gentle (respectful) even if there is any disagreement, e.g. instead of saying "I think you are wrong", try: "I am not sure if I can agree with what you just said".
By using "not sure", you are allowing some flexibility and you are allowing the speaker to change his mind. At the same time you also keep open and acknowledge the possibility that maybe the speaker is right after all.
Any other tips > please add a reaction!

You Need to Learn and Practice Listening
Shilpi, Student (University), New Zealand, Member
Listening forms an integral part of communication, a person needs to pay full attention in order to understand the real meaning of what is been said.
Listening is a natural process, but although we have been hearing since birth, we were not (always) listening. Listening is a skill that is acquired over a lifetime.
There is a misconception that listening requires no effort. As a mental skill, the truth is it requires practice and attention. Much of this effort occurs in our childhood during language development and continues as an individual's comprehension of interpersonal interactions increases. Like any skill, the more you practice listening, the better you get at it.

Learn to Like Active Listening
Gil Bangalan, HR Consultant, Qatar, Member
The hardest element in effective communication is listening. People speak and people hear. They seldom listen.
The first step in active listening is one must learn to like to listen. This way we show respect for the speaker and will thus make effort to eliminate distractions.
Oftentimes, our emotions deter us from actively listening. Pre-judgments and cognitive biases are viruses that make it difficult to listen effectively to the person of the speaker and/or to the ideas and concepts that the speaker wants to convey.
Control emotions and we will be on the path to active and effective listening.

Learn to Listen in 3 Easy Steps
Jessica Rayford, Student (University), Member
How to learn how to listen?
1. Be quiet!
2. Listen to your surroundings
3. Pay attention
Listening is not hard to do, everyone is not talking 100% of the time...

Postpone your Judgement
David Guild, Consultant, Australia, Member
Nothing is ever as it seems, gather all the information the time allows, sit and think of all the possibilities, at least for 3-4 minutes, so you are aware you could be wrong in your assumptions.
When you are calm, go and sit with the person and ask them what happened, let them talk, do not interrupt, they will clear or hang themselves.
Logic is important 99% of the time but does not always happen, remember there is your logic and their logic. Yours or their logic may be twisted with emotion which must be taken out of the equation.

To LISTEN Requires Being SILENT
Arif ur Rehman, Professor, Pakistan, Member
One can really “listen” to if one is actively “silent”.
Notice how the two words have the same letters differently arranged!

The speaker and the listener may not be at the same frequency, though their ‘needs’ could be the similar of even the same. To listen, silence is needed from within – i.e. an absorbing mind with an unbiased desire to learn.

For this ACE may be the key:
- A: Acceptance espoused with compassion.
- C: Candor supported by equivalence in feelings, and
- E: Empathy in relationship building.

How to Become a Good Listener
abedmadi, Coach, Palestine, State of, Member
Don't listen to your internal speech... When you get rid of your internal speech you will be a good listener.
Because when you are speaking to your self, you are not listening to the other person.

Ways to Improve Listening
Katarina, Student (University), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Member
Listening can be improved by:
- Avoiding distractions;
- Recognizing the speakers emotions;
- Understanding gender and cultural differences in communication style, and
- Using active listening.

Prerequisites To Being a Good Listener
S. M. Sapatnekar, Director, India, Member
The following are prerequisites to become a good listener.
- Overcome the oneupmanship that we imbibe in school years. The "fast finger first" is a scorer in school - not in life;
- To convince yourself that you do not "know-all"; so be interested in what another person has to say and in the topic heard;
- Not interrupting;
- Getting a clarification/verification at the end (what I understand...);
- To allow the speaker to feel secure and comfortable;
- To be precise and crisp in our own comments.
I think, these qualities come to us by experience. A role model changes your life.
One may experiment attending a brainstorm session without speaking a single word. Then back home, prepare the notes - as to who was most effective - works wonders! My mentor advised this to me 30 years back. Guess, I learnt it!

Listening Needs Practice
Gavin Tremble, Manager, South Africa, Member
@Shilpi: I agree hearing is a natural skill, but listening requires practice.

A speaker will observe in your body language that you are listening. So:
  • Lean slightly forward, meaning incline towards the speaker.
  • Nod your head as you grasp the message.
  • You may say ahaaa as the meaning is grasped.
  • Wait for the speaker to complete sentence/s before you respond.
  • Maintain eye contact because the meaning is reflected through the eyes.
  • Avoid rebuttals.
Listening is a skill that improves over time as you genuinely want to understand the meaning of what is being said.

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