Tips on the HOW of Active Listening

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tan liong choon
Management Consultant, Singapore

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 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.
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