As part of our internal goals, our Leadership team is currently reading an excellent book regarding different management techniques in leading your team. In part of our discussions, we’ve been reviewing the importance of active listening, not only in your professional relationships but your personal ones as well.

Listening is an important skill that you can utilize in all areas of your life. Good listening skills will improve your personal and professional relationships as well as your performance at work.

Active listening is the ability to fully concentrate, understand, respond and recall information during communication.

5 Key Active Listening Techniques

1. Pay Attention

  • Give the speaker your undivided attention, reduce distractions
  • Avoid thinking about how you will reply to the speaker

2. Show That You’re Listening

  • Nod or smile occasionally
  • Reply with short comments such as ‘yes’

3. Provide Feedback

  • Paraphrase what you hear – ‘What I am hearing is’ or ‘It sounds like you are saying…
  • Ask questions to clarify what you hear – ‘Is this what you mean?

4. Defer Judgment

  • Allow the speaker to finish each point

5. Respond Appropriately

  • Be sincere, honest and respectful in your response

“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”