Active Listening Made Easy

Jan 28, 2024

Active listening is an art. Very few of us are born as active listeners. Why? There are four learning styles—the four ways we retain information. 

Visual learners remember what they see. Auditory learners remember what they hear. 

Tactile learners remember what they learn when they are handling an object such as Legos or math blocks. Tactile learners often become engineers.

Kinesthetic learners remember information presented to them when they are moving like dancing around a room, riding a bike, or playing baseball.

Less than 25% of us are auditory learners who remember what we hear. For that reason, we may need to practice becoming active learners.

Like many other things in life, active listening has patterns all of us can easily learn and then start applying. The goal is to show that you are actively engaged in a positive way with the person with whom you are conversing.

What does it look like when someone is actively listening? What can you mirror when you actively listen? Are you sending positive verbal and nonverbal feedback? This may include:

  •  Listen attentively.
  • Lean in toward the speaker.
  • Have open body positions (rather than crossed arms, crossed legs, crossed eyes…).
  • Mirror the speaker’s body language.
  • Smile!
  • Make good eye contact.
  • Ask questions to clarify points. (No, this is not a cross examination, and you are not Perry Mason, famous—but fictional--lawyer.)
  • Be patient. Not every moment of silence needs to be filled.
  • Be neutral. Withhold judgement. Don’t give advice.
  • Paraphrase and reflect back what the other person said to make sure you understand his/her main points.
  • Summarize.

When you are actively listening, the speaker feels valued and heard. Active listening is the foundation for every successful conversation.

If you would like to learn more about how active listening could improve your communication framework, accelerate your career, and possibly lengthen your marriage, reach out to [email protected] and we'll be in touch. 


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