Active Listening

In this term, we learn about communication, one of the topics we covered in class is active listening.

A conversation requires both parties to pay attention. People often use the analogy of a ping-pong game to describe what a conversation should be like, taking turn talking. Besides from this essential point, it is also fundamental to listen to what others say. Being an active listener would show the speaker that, you are paying attention to what they are saying.

Three basic steps to becoming a better listener. *These are the steps that I especially struggle with.

Step 1: Listen to understand rather than listen to speak.

Personally, sometimes I found myself listening to find the opportunity to jump into the conversation. It is common for people to listen to find flaws, or chance so that they can talk about their own idea. However, in order to become a better communicator, we also need to be a better listener. A way to listen to understand is to mentally take notes of what the speaker said.

Step 2: Showing small gestures of understanding and verbal encouragement.

Nodding your head as a sign of agreement, if you agree with the point, would show that you are having a similar idea, this would encourage the speaker to talk more about their idea. Saying small verbal of encouragement such as “oh, I see” or “I understand” helps the speaker to understand their tone and information.

Step 3: Giving a small summary of what the speaker said.

I personally find this strategy helpful, not only that I am able to pay more attention but rather understand what the speaker said fully. This is an opportunity to check whether your interpretation of the information is correct. As well as a way to show the speaker that you’re listening.   

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