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Active Listening

Active listening is an important skill within any interaction with others, whether in professional or personal contexts.

The effects of active listening are to:

  • Put individuals at ease
  • Draw out important or relevant information quickly
  • Maintain collaboration and partnership within an interraction or negotiation
  • Create rapport even in difficult or imbalanced situations

Active listening includes becoming aware of the processes naturally at work when we connect with others, and developing skills so that we can use these processess in any situation. Active Listening involves:

Outer Listening:

  • Knowing where to focus ones listening attention, and feeling at ease doing so
  • Engaging with the speaker without ‘interrupting their flow’
  • Picking up verbal and non-verbal cues — and knowing what to do with them
  • Hearing what is said ‘behind the words’
  • Reflecting back to affirm the speaker and ensure they feel understood
  • Increasing the memory of the listener (‘chunking and checking’)
  • Developing empathy and rapport

Inner Listening:

  • Remaining alive to what going on inside oneself as listener
  • Dealing with reactions or judgements which may emerge in the listening role
  • Avoiding hearing blame or criticism
  • Keeping a clear head, and one’s objectives in mind
  • Developing self-empathy and self-rapport

Course Aims

  • To understand the processes that lead to active listening
  • To develop transferable skills for communicating across boundaries and within teams
  • To create greater clarity and efficiency for successful collaboration

Learning Objectives

  • Developing empathy and rapport
  • Knowing where to focus one’s listening attention, and feeling at ease doing so
  • Reflecting back to affirm the speaker and ensure they feel understood
  • Increasing the memory of the listener
  • Remaining alive to what is going on inside oneself as listener
  • Keeping a clear head, and one’s objectives in mind