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Active Listening


Active listening means, as the listener, you fully concentrate, show you understand, respond accordingly and then remember what is being said. This is a skill that can be acquired and developed with practise.

Here are some ways to practise active listening:

Practising active listening using non-verbal cues

  • Show that you are listening – use body language and gestures to show you are engaged.
  • Smile & pay attention – give the speaker your undivided attention. Demonstrate your interest and be fully present in the conversation.
  • Use nonverbal cues, such as nodding, eye contact and posture, such as leaning forward.
  • Avoid distractions – looking at your watch, phone, fidgeting and so on.

Practising active listening using verbal cues

  • Use brief verbals affirmations like “I see”, “Sure”, “I understand.”
  • Paraphrase to show understanding.
  • Questioning - Ask open-ended questions to gather more information or seek clarification by asking specific questions to ensure the correct message has been received.
  • Provide feedback, summarise, and respond appropriately.

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