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What is Effective Listening?
Effective Listening Overview
Effective listening is the ability to actively understand information provided by the speaker, and much more as well.
The highest form of listening we can obtain is being able to listen with empathy.
It may sound ridiculously simple, but often the reason we fail to reach an outcome is because our focus has wavered.
Body Language and Presence
When you’re mindful with your body language, you can maintain your own focus and maintain others’ focus on you.
You need to be sensitive to the nonverbal message you’re sending with the shape, position, orientation and arrangement of your whole body and limbs.
Don’t Fake It
If you pretend to focus, what you’re focusing on is the pretending, not on the person you’re listening to.
Show Your Mood
Stay focused by staying open and transparent. Rather than fake interest, show your authentic mood.
The quickest way to re-center yourself and maintain focus is with organised, rational breathing, or what’s known as the “square breath”.
Repeat and Rephrase
Another way to stay focused is to use the technique of repeating or rephrasing what we heard the other person say, before we speak.
The Great Question
The Great Question
To effectively listen, we need to be willing to stop talking, draw out the other person’s point of view, and really listen to what they have to say.
Closed ended questions are designed to get very specific information from the other person.
Open questions are designed to draw out someone's opinions, feelings, and knowledge
Probing and Clarifying
Probing and clarifying questions are designed to give us more information on a topic we’ve already been discussing.
Summary questions can be a great way to honestly check that you get what the other person is telling you.
During Conference Calls
On a conference call participants can’t see you, and you can’t see them. It can be very tempting to multi task.
Over the Phone
Over the phone, we can’t see or be seen, but listeners can hear when you loose focus.
This film looks at some challenges to overcome when it comes to listening over telepresence.
Face to Face
Here are some common sense listening tools that can be applied during face-to-face communication.
Face to Face - Meetings
The same common sense listening tools that can be applied to individual face-to-face communication, also apply to group face-to-face meetings.
Phil Daniels a professor of psychology is credited with devising a process called Start-Stop-Keep that asks some valuable questions.
- How to listen with empathy
- How to be present
- How to listen better through questions
- How to listen remotely
Meet our expert instructors who are featured in these videos to take you on your personal learning journey. They have written and designed this course using their extensive experience to provide you with actionable learning takeaways.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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How long do learners have to complete a course?
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