When you listen to others, do you just passively listen? Are you distracted and just hearing the words of the speaker? Or, are you actively listening and fully engaged in the conversation?
In this video, I am going to give you 4 keys to active listening.
- The first key to active listening is to pay attention to the speaker(s).
- Let go of any distractions such as your computer or your telephone. If you feel you can’t fully engage or listen to the speaker tell them that you want to have a conversation at a later time or a later day so that you’ll be able to give them your full attention.
- Make sure your mind is clear and you are not judging the person or the situation as they speak. You are listening to the speaker with an open mind and open heart.
- Make eye contact with the speaker. Let them know you are interested, and you are really paying attention to what they have to say.
- While you are listening, you want to pay attention to the speaker’s non-verbal language too. You want to listen to what they say and what they do not say. And a lot of times what a person does not say can be interpreted through their body language.
- The second key is to repeat the message you heard from the speaker. Oftentimes, because of differences in personalities styles, backgrounds and culture, we have conscious or unconscious biases about other people. As a result, we may have a different interpretation of what a person is saying. So, it is essential to repeat what you heard the speaker say.
- The third key is to interpret. Once you have gotten that correct message you may want to ask open ended questions or probe for additional information. This allows you to learn additional details such as “Can you explain…?”
- The last key to active listening is to respond since you have actively listened to the speaker with an open mind and open heart. Now it is time to respond. You can respond with candor and with clarity. We will talk more about this step in our communication article.
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