Active Listening

Active Listening

By the end of this lesson, you are expected:
– to be aware of levels of listening;
– to analyse an effective Listening process;
– to practice listening.


About Listening
Why do we listen?
Here are some of the reasons:
– to obtain information
– to understand
– for enjoyment
– to learn

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.

Levels of Listening
In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey identified 5 levels of listening techniques.
You can access this material in the additional material section.
Active Listening
We listen at different and distinct levels. How you listen to your end-users and customers will have a significant impact on your success or your entire organisation. As important as how you actually listen is how you are perceived to listen.
Active listening is a communication technique that is intended to increase understanding and rapport between the speaker and listener.
Listening Process

1. Hearing the message
2. Interpreting the message
3. Evaluating the message
4. Responding to the message

Listening leads to effective communication. Effective listeners HEAR and SELECT information from the speaker, give it meaning, determine how the speaker feels about it and respond in a matter of seconds. Only in this way is it possible to frame listening. It requires an ability to LISTEN for FEELINGS as well as words.
1. Hearing the Message

– Listening actively
Concentrate on the main theme of the discussion and specific ideas and facts. Be alert and ask questions. Check your posture. Sit up straight and look directly at the speaker.

– Listen objectively

Understand the speaker’s point of view. Put aside your biases (resentments, personal objectives, conflicts, interests etc.) on a topic.

– Listen analytically to the presentation

Recognise the theme, the key ideas, the supporting facts and other details.

2. Interpreting the message

– Listen to the sender’s meaning for words
Come to a mutual understanding of the speaker’s meaning. Good listeners know that a match in meaning results in a match in understanding.

– Determine the main points
Look for the structure of the message and mentally review the material that has come before. The main points can be at the beginning, middle or end of a message. Usefulness of the message can be determined through the main points.

– Understand the non-verbal cues
Gestures, facial expression, eyes and posture are non-verbal cues or body language that either confirm or deny the message of the words and tone of voice. Ask for clarification or repetition if you are not sure of the speaker’s meaning.

3. Evaluating the message

– Listen with empathy and understanding
Gather all of the key information before forming an opinion. Weigh and analyse all of the evidence before making a decision. An empathetic listener puts himself in the source’s shoes and understands the problem from their point of view.

– Suspend judgement
Avoid making judgement about the speaker or the message. Understand the speaker’s intent in what he wants to convey. Respect and recognise his point of view. Paraphrase or clarify if you are not sure of what he has said.

4. Responding to the message

– Provide feedback
Listeners must provide feedback to the speaker in order to complete the communication process. An active listener will try to inform the speaker that he has heard, understood and evaluated appropriately the main message. Good feedback should be relevant and timely. It should be based on facts and should relate to what’s happening at that time.

– Control your emotions

As listeners, you may experience different levels of emotion to what the speaker says.
“Loaded” words or statements can make you react emotionally. To control this, you must identify what triggers you, understand your responses and develop the ability to listen objectively and attentively without interrupting.

Practical techniques to listen better
Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp