Practice active listening to improve your conversations and your relationships

Instructions

  1. Engage in conversation with someone
    At home, the workplace, any conversation at any time.
  2. Pay attention to their tone, their body language, and the emotions behind their facts or story
    Effective listening requires interpretation. It’s not what happens to us in life but how we feel about it that’s important to us. Notice when someone’s voice catches and they may be caught up in an emotion, or when their eyes avert. Be sensitive to what might be troubling them at that moment.
  3. Act like a detective, keep asking yourself ‘Why is this person telling me this?’
    People will sense you are really listening, which will encourage them to be clear and authentic.
  4. When it’s your turn to speak, respond with a descriptive or evaluative reaction to the part(s) of the story which seemed the most important to them
    Resist the urge to downplay the speaker's concerns, or to relate a similar story from your experience.
  5. When you leave a conversation, ask yourself, ‘What did I just learn about that person? How did that person feel about what we were talking about?’
    If you can’t answer those questions, you need to work on your active listening skills.

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