Can You Hear Me Now? 5 Steps to Make You a Better Active Listener

Hearing does not necessarily translate to listening. Can you hear me now? Just because sounds are heard by no way implies that active listening is a part of the process. Hearing is defined as having the ability to hear. Listening is the act of giving attention to a sound or sounds. Hearing is a passive act, while listening is an active skill. Serving to strengthen relationships, facilitate problem solving and conflict resolution, and improve personal and professional development, active listening is a valuable skill. Listen Up! Here are 5 steps to make you a better active listener.

5 Steps to Make You a Better Active Listener

1 - Be Focused and Attentive

Maintain comfortable eye contact (if appropriate) and a constant level of focus and attentiveness for optimum comprehension of verbal and non-verbal communication.

2 - Avoid Distractions

Create a mental barrier reducing the level of interference of external and internal influences to better concentrate on unbiased comprehension.

3 - Exhibit Patience

Listen without interrupting the speaker, allowing adequate time for reflective pauses before replying. Consider thoughts  for responsive statements after listening to the complete message.

4 - Listen to Understand

Pay attention to highlights and messages to establish a clear understanding. Mentally preparing to question or reply detracts from the effectiveness of active listening. 

5 - Reflect on the Message

Evaluate information presented for an assessment of the value of message. Demonstrate an understanding by rephrasing the speaker's message for clarification.