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 handle an object such as Legos or math blocks, and they 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.

Active listening, much like numerous skills we acquire throughout life, is built upon identifiable patterns and techniques that, once learned, can be systematically applied to enhance our interactions. This skill is not just about passive hearing but involves a deliberate and thoughtful engagement with the speaker. The objective is to demonstrate unequivocally that you are not just physically present but mentally and emotionally invested in the conversation. This commitment to truly understanding the speaker's message conveys respect and validation, fostering a positive and supportive communication environment.

To practice active listening effectively, it involves several key components: 

  • Listen with the intent to understand and connect.
  • Lean in toward the speaker.
  • Have open body positions (rather than crossed arms, legs, and 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 judgment, don't jump to conclusions hastily. Don’t give advice.
  • Paraphrase and reflect back on what the other person said to make sure you understand his/her main points.
  • Summarize.

When you engage in active listening, you do more than just hear the words being spoken; you fully comprehend, respond, and remember what is said. This level of attentiveness makes the speaker feel truly valued and understood, creating a profound sense of being genuinely heard. Active listening serves as the cornerstone of every successful conversation, laying the groundwork for meaningful and effective communication.

By mastering the art of active listening, you not only enhance your interpersonal relationships but also set the stage for significant improvements in various aspects of your life. Whether it's in a professional setting, where effective communication can catalyze career advancement and foster a collaborative work environment, or in personal relationships, where understanding and empathy can deepen connections and resolve conflicts, the benefits of active listening are manifold. Moreover, in the context of marriage or long-term partnerships, this skill can be particularly transformative, potentially leading to a stronger, more resilient bond that withstands the test of time.

For those interested in exploring how active listening can revolutionize your communication framework, propel your career to new heights, and even contribute to a longer, more fulfilling marriage, I encourage you to reach out. By contacting [email protected], you can take the first step towards unlocking these benefits. We're here to support you on your journey to becoming a more effective communicator, ready to provide the guidance and resources you need to succeed.


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