Listening skills are a vital part of the oral communication process. Most of us think of listening as a passive activity where we simply take in information sent by others (sometimes well and sometimes not so well). As an active listener, you learn to hear what people are really saying. Basically, good listeners are good concentrators. We need to teach ourselves how to concentrate more effectively, so we can become better listeners.
This topic outlines the behaviors associated with good listening and offers individuals a practical step-by-step guide to becoming more effective in all of their future communication interfaces.
This 12 page Skill-Builder Booklet shows you how to apply the following key action steps:
1. Focusing your attention so as to concentrate on what another person is saying by minimizing distractions and concentrating carefully
2. Following others' words, core meaning and key points carefully to allow the full communication to be appreciated
3. Filtering the information you receive, analyzing the meaning behind the words, and ensuring that you suspend judgment
4. Feeling or appreciating the real meaning behind a message by watching body language and tuning in to the emotions of the other party or parties
5. Feeding back what you heard by paraphrasing and summarizing key points and allowing the other party to clarify or explain any confusion
6. Finishing a conversation by checking your final understanding and summarizing anything that has been agreed upon