Active listening is a communication technique that involves paying close attention to the person who is speaking, and providing verbal and nonverbal feedback to show that you understand what they are saying. It is an important skill that can help to build trust and understanding in relationships, whether in personal or professional settings.
Active listening behaviors
Active listening involves several key elements:
- Paying attention: This means giving the speaker your full attention, and avoiding distractions such as checking your phone or thinking about what you will say next.
- Showing interest: This can be done through nonverbal cues such as nodding, maintaining eye contact, and leaning in to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
- Reflecting: This means restating or paraphrasing what the speaker has said, to show that you have understood and to confirm your understanding.
- Asking questions: This can help to clarify any points that are unclear, and can also show that you are actively engaged in the conversation.
- Avoiding interrupting: this means giving the speaker the time to express themselves fully and not cutting them off, even if you disagree or want to add something to the conversation.
Active listening is an important skill for many different contexts, from personal relationships, to customer service, to professional development. It's a key component of effective communication and can help to build trust and understanding between people.