Active Listening Skills Continued.

Listen to yourself:

Goal: To practice the skill of listening – good communication skills require the art of active listening.

Ask a friend to help participate in this wee little experiment. Allow you or your friend to be the designated listener, and the other is the talker. Later, reverse the roles.

Take for 3-5 minutes about yourself.

Pay attention to your thoughts when talking.

Having trouble? Start off with

Your Family

Your hobbies

Your pets

You’re favourite band (while you were growing up)


If you had a million (and 1 dollar)



L – ook and lean

I -gnore Distractions

S– uspend Judgement

T– ell Them what you’ve heard

E– xperience Their side

N– o interrupting!


The Goals of Communication

To better understand what another person is communicating

To relay your understanding to that person.

To improve relationships.


Active Listening

Attending Skills


Appropriate Body Motion

Eye Contact

Non disturbing Environment

Your handshake

Following Skills

Door openers

Minimal Encourages

Infrequent Questions

Paraphrasing and Reflecting Back


Door Closers





Active Listening

Active listening is especially useful in two general situations

1) when you are not certain you understand what the other person means.

2) when an important or emotionally charged message is being sent.

Senders will often indicate that they are saying something significant by:

Directly referring it to as Worthing of notice, eg “it is vital for you to understand that..”

Repeating a message several times

Placing a point first or last.

Pausing or waiting for eye contact before speaking.

Speaking more loudly or softly than usual.

Speaking more slowly than usual.

When you are actively listening, you concentrate on reflecting on the feeling that others express, the content or both, depending upon what you think you may have misunderstood and what you consider most important. As yourself:

“What is he feeling?” “What is he trying to say?”

Consider: ” People won’t care what you know, until they know that you care.”

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”



Reference: OTMH, Oakville, ON


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