The Importance of Being An Active Listener

active listening, active listener, listening

As communication becomes increasingly abbreviated (i.e., texting acronyms and using emojis), being an active listener is the way to separate yourself from the pack.

Start with Good Listening Skills

There is a misconception that being silent, engaging with facial movements and vocal sounds, and summing up what someone has just said is a sure way to be a good listener. It also involves stopping what you are doing and focusing on the person and conversation.

How to Become an Active Listener

Active Listener

What is an active listener? It involves listening with your ears but also with your eyes and body.

According to Albert Mehrabian, a body language researcher, communication is 55% nonverbal, 38% vocal, and 7% words. Therefore, subtle body language is a powerful signal to the other person that you are engaged in the conversation. Leaning in, nodding, smiling, and making appropriate eye contact is essential when showing nonverbal interest and openness.

During communication, be an active listener by following these tips:

  • Remove any distractions from the immediate area.
  • If you don’t understand what the person said, ask clarifying questions.
  • If you are texting or emailing and the exchange is confusing, pick up the phone and call the person. Besides their words, listen to their tone and pace.
  • Restate key points to demonstrate an understanding of the subject.
  • Share your opinion or ideas, if appropriate.
  • In a work environment, be non-judgmental and supportive, especially if the person is not asking for your opinion or help.

Benefits of Active Listening

Active listening is one of the best ways to build interpersonal relationships and establish closer connections, especially with team members. This soft skill is critical to conflict resolution, problem-solving, and constructive criticism.

When you practice active listening you:

  • Improve communication
  • Boost collaboration
  • Connect on a deeper level 
  • Demonstrate empathy 
  • Start to Resolve conflict and
  • Build trust

Active Listening Resources

You’re Not Listening

Active Listening Techniques: 30 Practical Tools to Hone Your Communication Skills

Mindful Listening

Timothy Dimoff Knows the Power of Active Listening

“Active listening can also be crucial when attempting to defuse a verbal escalation situation that has gotten out of hand. It is even more imperative that your body language becomes even more important and observed during these specific situations!”

Timothy Dimoff

Want to learn more about how to make the most of one-to-one communication?  Schedule Tim’s Talk, The Lost Art of Human Communication, today!