Updated: Mar 7
Active listening is a powerful technique and it requires a lot of practice and hard work. The benefit is that high quality of listening helps build strong relationships with others and it can ignite their thinking.
Adopt the following techniques for active listening:
Turn off your internal dialogue - quieten yourself down inside
Minimise external distractions
Ensure you are in a comfortable environment
Make a real commitment to yourself to give all your attention to listening
Listen without judging what is being said
Once the speaker has stopped, get in the habit of counting to 5 before speaking. This will ensure they have actually finished
Show you are interested by your posture, facial expression and signs of encouragement e.g. nods, “uh-huh” etc.
Notice the speaker’s body language and how it changes with their words
Summarise what you have heard at regular intervals. This demonstrates you are listening and fully understanding what is being said
Match tone, volume and speed of speaker’s voice. Do this with subtlety.
Keep your own mental state positive and interested
Monitor your reactions to the speaker. If you are having an emotional response then reflect on the reasons for that