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8 ways to become an active listener

Listening Is a Skill

As technology continues to improve and evolve, the speed with which we get information increases as well.  That creates noise and it shortens our attention span – and although you can listen to a podcast at 2x speed, you can’t listen to a person that fast, so you must be mindful in your approach to listening

8 Ways to Become an Active Listener

Listening is a skill.  When performed correctly, it allows you to build trusted relationships. It also increases the likelihood that the communicator and the listener are on the same page, or at least understand each other (agreeing to disagree is ok).

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  • Maintain Eye Contact – Put that phone down, turn it over, better yet put it in your pocket or bag.  Give the individual talking your entire focus.
  • Non-Verbal Cues – Be sensitive to what is not being said.  Observe body language for incongruent messages.
  • Practice Patience – Do not interrupt, finish the speakers sentence, or change the subject.  Let the person talk and conclude their thought.
  • Listen with empathy & to understand – Act as if there will be a quiz at the end.
  • Clarify –  Get confirmation on your understanding by rephasing what you heard and asking if it sounds right to the speaker.
  • Practice pure listening – What did we say about that phone? Put it away and keep it away.  Be mindful in your focus on the individual.  Remove all distractions.
  • Attitude –   Keep an open and accepting attitude by not jumping to conclusions or making assumptions.  Let the person talk and finish their thought.  Seek to understand.
  • Empathize –  Try to turn your mind off.  Be with the speaker and work to see things from their point of view.

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