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Active Listening: The Master Key to Effective Communication

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https://fs.blog/2017/07/active-listening/#

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Active Listening: The Master Key to Effective Communication
Active listening, as the name implies requires effort. It is much more than simply "hearing" what is being said. This article will show you how to improve your listening skills to make you a better conversationalist, and a more empathetic friend, spouse, parent or partner.

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Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

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Core components of Active Listening

  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, w...

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Improving Active Listening skills

  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Conversational Narcissism

Is to seek to hold the attention of a conversation on oneself. It occasionally manifests on the average person when we pretend to be listening, but we were really focusing on what we wa...

Active Listening

Is to not judge or analyze what the person is saying at first. Just focusing on listening and trying to understand their perspective.

The Three Components of Active Listening

  1. Paraphrase: Consists of repeating at the speakers a summary of what they say, so they feel understood.
  2. Inquire: Obtain all the information that is relevant to the resolution of the issue.
  3. Acknowledge: Once the issue is made clear, communicate to your counterpart that you understand it.

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Listening requires mental work

We mistake listening as easy because it looks passive and instinctive, but in reality it’s hard work. Really listening (and not just appearing to listen) re...

Mistakes we make in conversations

Our general tendency is to:
  • Evaluate: We judge what someone is saying and agree or disagree.
  • Probe: We ask questions from our own frame of reference.
  • Advise: We give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
  • Interpret: We analyze others' motives and behaviors based on our own experiences.

What makes a great listener

  • Asking great questions;
  • Playing attention to the nonverbal communication;
  • Forgoing taking detailed notes to pay better attention;
  • Listening with the intent to understand, not the intent to respond;
  • Making people feel heard;
  • Following up on what matters.

Mindful listening

This constant, low-grade sense of urgency can impede genuine communication. 
Mindful listening - 
focused attention to what another person is saying, without judging or ...

Hear between the words

When you’re in conversation, set your mind to being present, receptive, and ready to listen with compassion. 

Bring yourself into the moment with a few deep breaths and ask yourself: What is this person communicating beyond the words they use? 

Use nonverbal cues

When the other person is speaking, just listen. Stay mentally active and alert. Use nonverbal signals like nodding or smiling to let the person know you’re tuned in.

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No One Listens Anymore

No One Listens Anymore

Most of us have encountered people around us, friends, family or colleagues, who aren't the best of listeners.

As the world gets more and more connected and complicated, listening is turning ...

The 2016 Debacle

The Political landscapes across the globe were proving drastically wrong forecasts, with improbably wrong polling data.

The mainstream media, which is relying on social media for most of the data, was misleading because of it, and the political forecasters were not listening to what needed to be listened to.

Data-Driven Approach Backfires

By deriving polling data from social media and quoting trending soundbites from Twitter and Facebook, real voices that may not be trending and of any interest to politicians, lobbyists, activists or business interests are losing ground.

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We Live In The Age of Speaking

The image one has of success and glory is someone speaking on a stage, holding a microphone. Schools have courses in communication, how to speak perfectly, and how to deb...

The Lost Art of Listening

It is by listening that human beings are able to connect, co-operate, comprehend, empathize, understand and develop themselves.

Listening is fundamental to any meaningful relationship, whether it is personal, professional or political.

People Resist Listening

Meeting others face-to-face, or even talking over the phone is increasingly unpleasant and intrusive, with text messages and emoji being preferred.

Lack of listening is fuelling the rise of loneliness, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and even premature death.

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Listen

To mindfully listen means to wait patiently for the other person to finish before we speak. Also, it means keeping our mind focused on the speaker, instead of wandering ...

Practise non-judgment

To mindfully converse and avoid conflicts, we need to try our best to refrain from judging the other person’s opinion, story or perspective. We should come to terms with the fact that there is no wrong or right — only different perceptions.

Show understanding

Show others that you understand them. For example, say “I understand” or “I see what you mean.” It gives them a sense of comfort that their words and feelings are relatable.

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Leadership and Listening

Listening is a critical leadership skill you can master. 

It will help you learn about the people you work with, demonstrate you think they’re important, and help you make better ...

Listening will help you lead more effectively

  • When you listen, you learn: about your teammates and what’s important to them, ideas, stories, concerns.
  • Listening sends the message that you value the other person.
  • Listening helps you make good decisions: it slows you down so you can diagnose effectively before you act.

Learn to Listen Well

  • Show that you’re paying attention. Lean in. Make eye contact. Nod.
  • Paraphrase what the other person said and ask them if you got it. 
  • Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to continue and increase your understanding.
  • Take notes during the conversation if it helps you and doesn’t make the other person uncomfortable. 

Open Your Ears

Don’t jump to advanced listening techniques if you have poor listening skills as you’re very likely to get overwhelmed.

Start by just opening your ears, closing your mouth and looking the ...

What Someone Closed to Listening Thinks

  • How does this impact me?
  • When have I experienced this?
  • What would I do about this?
  • Where can I take this conversation?
  • What do I need to tell?

5 Roadblocks To Listening

  1. Disinterest in connecting.
  2. Long-talkers and explainers who never get to the point!
  3. Knowledge. Talkers know.
  4. Distraction by what’s next.
  5. Multi-tasking.

How To Be An Active Listener

  1. Ignore internal and external distractions (thoughts and sounds).
  2. Listen to the content of their speech and their specific wording
  3. Listen to ...

Selective Listening

Means to focus on a few key words and ignore the rest of someone's communication. 

It often manifests as one gets distracted by external stimuli like random sounds or movements, and internal stimuli such as one's own thoughts and feelings.

Active Listening

Means to fully concentrate on what is being said rather than passively absorbing it

It's not just remembering the content of what was said, but using empathy and seeking to understand the complete message, including the emotional tones conveyed. It builds rapport, understanding and trust.

Communicating well builds trust

More time gets spend on second-guessing the intent behind poor communication than working to improve it.

Take the time to establish clear expectations around how your team is communicat...

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

7 Common Communication Mistakes

  • Assuming Mal Intent. Not everything is intentional, so don’t let an innocent oversight degrade trust.
  • Hiding Behind Email. Email’s a great supporting tool, but it seldom plays well as the lead medium.
  • Failure to Write Down Decisions. Writing down and reading back key decisions is an important way for everyone to move in the same direction.

  • Wasteful Meetings. To save everyone's time, only hold meetings to make decisions and/or to improve relationships.

  • Spin. If you want people to truly listen, be sure they can believe what you say. Encourage transparency and truth-telling.

  • Boring Packaging. Ditch the 35-page PowerPoint deck and explain why your project really matters.

  • Inept Listening. Listen carefully and ask great questions. Create meaning from the responses.