Active hearne is a skill that have the right to be acquired and also developed v practice. However, active listening have the right to be complicated to master and will, therefore, take time and also patience come develop.

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"Active listening" means, together its name suggests, actively listening. The is fully concentrating ~ above what is being said quite than simply passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker.

Active listening requires listening v all senses. And also giving full attention come the speaker, it is crucial that the ‘active listener’ is additionally ‘seen’ to it is in listening - otherwise the speaker may conclude the what they room talking around is uninteresting to the listener.

Interest can be conveyed come the speak by utilizing both verbal and non-verbal messages such as keeping eye contact, nodding your head and smiling, agreeing by speak ‘Yes’ or simply ‘Mmm hmm’ to encourage them to continue. By giving this "feedback" the human speaking will usually feel an ext at ease and also therefore communicate more easily, openly and also honestly.

Listening is the most fundamental component of interpersonal interaction skills.

Listening is not something that simply happens (that is hearing), listening is one active process in i m sorry a mindful decision is make to listen to and understand the messages of the speaker.

Listeners should remain neutral and non-judgmental, this method trying no to take it sides or form opinions, especially early on in the conversation. Active listening is also about patience - pauses and short periods of silence should be accepted.

Listeners have to not it is in tempted to jump in with questions or comment every time there are a couple of seconds the silence. Active listening involves giving the other human being time to discover their thoughts and feelings, lock should, therefore, be given adequate time because that that.

Active listening no only means focusing completely on the speaker yet also proactively showing verbal and also non-verbal signs of listening.

Generally speakers want listeners to demonstrate ‘active listening’ through responding accordingly to what they space saying. Appropriate responses to listening deserve to be both verbal and also non-verbal, examples of which are listed below:

Signs of active Listening

Non-Verbal signs of Attentive or active Listening

This is a generic perform of non-verbal indicators of listening, in various other words people who room listening are more likely to display screen at the very least some of this signs. But these indicators may no be ideal in all situations and throughout all cultures.


Small smiles deserve to be used to show that the listener is paying fist to what is being said or together a method of agreeing or gift happy around the messages gift received. Linked with nods that the head, smiles can be an effective in affirming that messages space being listened to and understood.

Eye Contact

the is normal and also usually encouraging for the listener come look in ~ the speaker. Eye contact can however be intimidating, particularly for an ext shy speakers – gauge just how much eye call is appropriate for any kind of given situation. Combine eye call with smiles and other non-verbal message to encourage the speaker.


Posture can tell a lot around the sender and receiver in interpersonal interactions. The attentive listener often tends to lean slightly forward or party whilst sitting. Other signs of energetic listening may incorporate a slight slant of the head or relaxing the head on one hand.


Automatic reflection/mirroring of any type of facial expressions provided by the speaker have the right to be a sign of attentive listening. This reflective expressions can aid to display sympathy and also empathy in an ext emotional situations. Attempting to consciously mimic facial expressions (i.e. No automatic reflection of expressions) have the right to be a authorize of inattention.


The energetic listener will certainly not it is in distracted and therefore will certainly refrain from fidgeting, looking in ~ a clock or watch, doodling, playing with their hair or picking their fingernails.

check out our pages: Non-Verbal Communication, Body Language and also Personal Appearance for much more information.

Be conscious That:

It is perfectly possible to learn and also mimic non-verbal signs of energetic listening and not actually be listening in ~ all.

It is more difficult to mimic verbal signs of listening and comprehension.

Positive Reinforcement

Although a solid signal of attentiveness, caution must be provided when using confident verbal reinforcement.

Although some hopeful words of encouragement might be useful to the speaker the listener should use castle sparingly for this reason as not to distract from what is being claimed or ar unnecessary focus on components of the message.

Casual and also frequent usage of words and phrases, together as: ‘very good’, ‘yes’ or ‘indeed’ can become irritating come the speaker. The is usually better to elaborate and also explain why you room agreeing with a specific point.


The human mind is notoriously bad at remembering details, especially for any kind of length that time.

However, remembering a couple of key points, or also the surname of the speaker, can help to reinforce that the message sent have actually been received and understood – i.e. Listening has actually been successful. Psychic details, ideas and concepts native previous conversations proves that attention was kept and is likely to encourage the speaker to continue. During longer exchanges it might be appropriate to make an extremely brief note to act as a storage jog as soon as questioning or clarifying later.

see our page: Note-Taking.


The listener can show that they have been paying fist by asking relevant concerns and/or make statements that build or help to clarification what the speaker has actually said. By questioning relevant questions the listener also helps come reinforce the they have actually an interest in what the speaker has actually been saying.

view our pages: Questioning and also Types the Question for more information.


Reflecting is carefully repeating or paraphrasing what the speaker has said in stimulate to show comprehension. Have fun is a an effective skill that can reinforce the message of the speaker and also demonstrate understanding.

view our page: Reflection.


Clarifying involves asking inquiries of the speak to ensure the the correct message has been received. Clarification usually involves the use of open up questions which enables the speak to broaden on specific points together necessary.

view our page on Clarification.


Repeating a an overview of what has been said earlier to the speak is a an approach used by the listener to repeat what has been claimed in their very own words. Summarising requires taking the main points of the received message and reiterating them in a logical and also clear way, providing the speaker chance to exactly if necessary.


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More ~ above listening: Listening skills | The 10 ethics of Listening varieties of hearne | Ineffective Listening