What is Active Listening?
In 1957 psychologists Carl Rogers and Richard Farson first coined the phrase “Active Listening” in their paper of the same title.
In it, they wrote:
Active listening is an important way to bring about changes in people. They indicate how clinical and research evidence clearly shows it as one of the most effective agents for individual personality change and group development. And also how active listening brings changes in peoples’ attitudes toward themselves and others; shaping their basic values and personal philosophy.
When you are actively listening, you are fully aware of what is being said, and you can concentrate on what is being said rather than passively hearing what the speaker is attempting to convey.
Tips to Being an Active Listener
While listening can vary from person to person, the best part is that it is a communication skill and can be acquired with time and patience. The bottom line is about focusing, understanding, and looking at things from different perspectives for the greater good.
- Give a speaker your undivided attention.
- Make a genuine response that makes the speaker feel heard.
- Make mental notes when a speaker pauses to recap and remember important details.
- When developing your response, consider a speaker's emotional connection to an issue.
- Pause before responding to what the speaker said and craft a suitable response.
- To learn more about the speaker's point of view, ask genuine questions.
Avoid These Obstacles
- Distractions: Keep your phone out of sight.
- Getting Preoccupied: Stay engaged in the conversation by actively listening rather than thinking about what to have for supper.
- Focusing on the Facts Alone: Consider where the speaker is coming from as well.
- Watching How Someone Speaks: Pay attention to what is being said rather than how it is being said.
Build Up Your EQ
Your emotional intelligence or EQ, which includes your capacity to communicate, listen, empathize, handle conflict, and manage emotions. Here's how to enhance yours:
- Understand how to read a room.
- Interpret the needs of others.
- Put yourself in other people's shoes.
- Keep your own emotions in check during tense situations.
- Make it your objective to get to an agreement.