15 Active Listening Techniques For Effective Communication

active listening techniques

Active listening is a critical skill that takes both time and practice to obtain. It is necessary component of productive debates and discussions. Active listening, which is listening with a purpose, includes empathic and critical listening. Nevertheless, effective listening is more than just skill; it is also a matter of attitude. This article will help you understand and practice 15 active listening techniques which are designed specifically for those who want to improve their communication for good.

15 Active Listening Techniques – Shorten Your Road To Be A Good Listener

I.  Blocks To Effective Listening 

Active listening is all about building rapport, understanding, and trust. Active listening could be developed with practice. A variety of internal and external barriers are preventing many of us from being effective listeners. To interact, people usually “wait to speak” rather than listening attentively. Actively listening is a structured way of listening and answering to others. Listen consciously and develop your communication, avoid misunderstanding and enjoy better relationships. In order to be a good listener, you initially need to know blocks to efficient listening that the majority of people encounter. Keep reading to discover whether you are encountering these problems:

  • Judging. We all tend to judge others and distort the messages from them. We also spend more time on applying labels to people than listening to their messages.
  • Think about what someone is about to say. This might cause the misunderstanding or anger and conflict because we tend to interrupt the other person while he or she is talking. It also leads to mentally “turning out” before the speaker is completed their talking.
  • Twisting a message to make someone say what you want to hear. If you are in this case, you are trying to make others to be who you want them to be instead of approving them for who they are.
  • Your emotions. This is also a block of effective listening that at least one time we meet in our lives. In such either case, you might misinterpret what the other person is saying.

active listening techniques for teachers

To get rid of stress in order to listen effectively and actively, people can refer some helpful tips on managing stress in the e-book primal stress, and tips to conquer depression with secret bible.

II. Listening Differences Between Women And Men

Have you ever had conversations with those people of the opposite gender and thought that they did not listen well what you had said?  We all met that situation. Although, there are a lot of similarities between women and men when communicating, in this part, we list some of the commonly observed differences relevant to listening. In fact, men and women have quite distinct communication styles that affect how they listen and how they use their communication skills. To understand more about effective listening, you also should refer these tips below:

  • In term of purpose of listening, women generally tend to listen in order to understand the other person’s feelings and emotions as well as seek for the common interests while men listen to take actions and handle with the problems.
  • Women, in general, would like to listen to complex information that needs to be evaluated carefully. In contrast, men like short, concise, and no-error free communication.
  • In term of awareness, ladies are strongly perceptive to how well the others understand their messages. Men often fail in recognizing that the other person does not understand the messages.active listening techniques handout
  • About non-verbal behaviors when listening. Female tend to be more attentive than male. Besides, women usually have sustained eye contact with the other person while men use glances to control reactions and indicate liking.
  • In term of interruptive behaviors, women usually interrupt less than men; and interruptions signal support and agreement while men use interruptions to switch subjects.

In addition to these useful techniques, you will discover keys to successful communication, the secrets & joys of listening and being listened to by reading the Are You Really Listening? book

III. 15 Active Listening Techniques

1. Use Verbal And Non-Verbal Communication Efficiently 

We might recognize that if we are engaging in listening, we hardly also be speaking. Nevertheless, in fact, we usually become simultaneously a receiver and a sender. Therefore, it is essential to make verbal communication even when we are deeply involved in listening. Here are a few tips that can help you take advantage of your verbal communication to listen well:

  • Invite additional comments. By this way, you can encourage the speakers to add more details or share their ideas and information. For instance, you can say “go on”, or “what else?”, or “does anything else happens?”
  • Ask questions. Do this to request more in-depth and meaningful information or clarification. For instance, what do you think would happen if you…?”
  • Clarify involves asking questions of the speakers to make sure that the correct messages have been gotten. Clarification often involves open questions that enable the speakers to expand on some points as necessary.
  • Vary your verbal responses and supply clear responses to stimulate the speaker to talk and help you get more information.
  • Provide affirmative and affirming statements.
  • Illustrate bodily responsiveness.
  • Maintain relaxed, comfortable but alert posture.
  • Use responsive, positive facial expressions, head movements. While the speaker is speaking, lean forward and maintain direct eye contact.

To improve your communication skills, you can refer the guide of professional communicating tips.

active listening techniques for students

2. Restating

This is one of critical active listening techniques that you need to know if you want to become a better listener. In order to let the other person know that you are listening, you had better repeat their sayings or what you understood when listening to them. Do not parrot, but paraphrase in your own words.

3. Summarizing

Gather both the pieces and the facts of the problems to check your understanding. For instance, you can say “Is that it?”

4. Reflecting

Apart from repeating the other person’s words, you can reflect their words in terms of your feelings such as “it sounds actually important to you…”Woman listening

5. Sending Feedback

One of fundamental active listening techniques is giving feedback, you will let the speakers know what your initial thoughts are. Just share proper information, insights, and experiences.

6. Validation

Try to acknowledge the others’ problems, feelings, and issues. You should listen with an open-mind and empathy, and answer in interested ways.

7. Effective Pause

This is useful for both listeners and speakers. In the pause moment, you will understand key points which are emphasized and important.

You can check the guide of ultimate tips to control mind and ultimate secrets of mind power to improve your concentration and focus, and harness the power of your mind.

8. Silence

This seems to be similar to the above tip. However, it has a little bit difference. Allow comfortable silence to slow down the conversation or exchange. Do this and you are giving the other person to think as well as talk. Best of all, this will be useful in diffusing and unproductive interaction.

In addition to these useful techniques, you will discover keys to successful communication, the secrets & joys of listening and being listened to by reading the Are You Really Listening? book

9. Listen Now, Report Later 

The majority of people usually give feedback right after getting the information. Yet, you should report what you heard to someone else later. The act of speaking out loud what you processed inside your head after hearing will assist you in remembering fully the information. 

active listening techniques for effective communication

10. Learn To Want To Listen

We have to be willing to concentrate on the other person when he or she is speaking. Learn to improve an interest in either the other person and/or the subject. Practice focusing on the speaker’s words and feelings. Practice eradicating distractions, not allowing them to affect your listening process.

11. Be Present

Daydreaming, sometimes, is actually helpful and great because it allows us to take a mental vacation for a while. But, in most cases, daydreaming is one of the main barriers to efficient listening. Just “be present” during the conversations. Concentrate on the speakers and the messages.

12. Be Respectful

 Let the speakers know that you take their ideas and views seriously. Be willing to communicate with them at the same level of their attitude and understanding by adjusting the tone of your voice, and choices of words to display that you are trying to imagine being the same position as them and empathetic.

In other words, to be an effective listener, you should involve your entire body.  That means you need to mobilize your ears your eyes, your intellect, and also your body parts. It seems to be hard but once you can do that, you can see great results. active listening techniques exampleA good listener gives nonverbal as well as verbal signals that he or she is listening. You need to sit with an attentive posture; encouraging attitude; nod in acknowledgement; and make consistent eye contact.

13. Control The Emotional “Hot Buttons”

Words, situations, issues, and personalities can be emotional triggers for us.  When these issues trigger our “hot buttons,” we tend to distort, positively or negatively, the message we are hearing.  We may tune out or pre-judge the message and/or the speaker.

14. Control Distractions

You need to control your responses to the distractions, or they will take control of you. Distractions impact your ability to listen carefully and effectively due to their novelty, variety, and intensity. For example, telephone, unfamiliar accent/vocabulary, background noise, even lighting, headaches, hunger, fatigue can be the triggers of ineffective listening. So, it is necessary for you to take control the distractions to listen well and effectively.

15. Keep Relaxed 

Stay calm and feel relax when you want to pay attention and focus on something that is important for you. Unless you are comfortable when listening, the efficiency of your information receiving will not be high. Thus, relax yourself and listen with open mind.

Want to know more tips for relaxation? You can check these books out: simple tips for music relaxation. Or, you can discover some tips for effective meditation and strategies to mediate properly to get more methods to feel relaxed when listening.

So, these are some ultimate active listening techniques that used successfully by many people all over the world. Hope that you have learned something new! Well, learning active listening techniques might require much effort and patience, and keeping it simple and innocent is the key to make it successful.
If you care about the article, we are open to welcome any discussion about the topic. Leave your comments at the end of this post to let us know what you think. We appreciate your contribution and will respond all as soon as possible.

In addition to these useful techniques, you will discover keys to successful communication, the secrets & joys of listening and being listened to by reading the Are You Really Listening? book

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