Hearing vs. Listening
You’re probably familiar with the term “active listening,” but what is it exactly? Are you an active listener? Many of us hear thousands of words a day, but more often than not, we are simply hearing the words and not listening to the meaning.
Active listening is a process in which an individual makes a conscious decision to listen and to under the message of the speaker.
Here are some steps to help you become an active listener:
- Face the speaker and maintain eye contact.
- Be active, but relaxed.
- Keep and open mind.
- Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
- Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions.”
- Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
- Ask questions only to ensure understanding.
- Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
- Give the speaker regular feedback.
- Pay attention to what isn’t said – to nonverbal cues.
Active listening is a skill often used to help resolve conflicts and is a valuable skill that can be used by everyone!
Contributor: Amanda Rioux (Moore)