So what exactly is active listening training andhow can you use it to improve communicationacross your organisation?If you have teenagers you might understand what isNOT active listening…Do they engage in other activities while you’re tryingto have a conversation with them? Maybe playingvideo games or watching TV or texting on their phonesand nodding away while you articulate the meaning oflife?
It’s the exact same issue in the workplacewhere you have lots of busy people trying tomulti-task as much as possible which oftenget’s in the way of having a productive two-wayconversation.Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, stock tickers, sportsupdates and a myriad of other devices and interestskeep us focused on everything BUT what we’re talkingabout right now.
Active listening means exactly what is says –stopping everything else except for what youare hearing and processing as part of thatcommunication.Do you know if someone is listening to you? How?
Here is a list of actions you should be taking asan active listener or looking for when tryingto communicate effectively with anotherperson:• Eye-contact• Head nodding in agreement or shaking in dis-agreement• Restating key points• Asking relative questions• Offering a different but related opinion
Eye Contact – When we put down our phone, turnaway from our monitor or take out our earplugs andmake direct eye contact with the person speaking tous, we are physically showing that we are nowengaged with them and not detracted by otherinputs.
Head Movements – When you see someoneshaking their head in disapproval or nodding inapproval we know that we are communicating in atwo-way discussion. And when you nod or shakeyour head while having a conversation you’re sendinga powerful signal that you’re engaged and listeningactively.
Restate Key Points – By clarifying key pointsthroughout the conversation, you’re taking an activerole in the communication process and making sure toclarify any key points that you may not have correctlyunderstood when they were first articulated to you.
Ask Relative Questions – When you take the time tothink through the key points being communicated toyou, then you’re showing not only active listening skillsbut proactive communications skills where you not onlyunderstand what’s being said, but you are now thinkingthrough the process and bringing up potentialoutcomes or issues which might face you as a team inthe future.
Suggest Different Opinions – This has the sameeffect as asking relative questions. By bringing upvarious other topics or a different way of interpretingthe information being presented, you’re alsoindicating that you’ve not only actively listened to theconversation but are now adding to it.
Pdtraining delivers active listening trainingcourses in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth,Adelaide and Canberra. Visit our website tolearn more about how you can become anactive listener and better communicator inyour organisation today!
Learning Outcomes – Active ListeningTraining CourseBy the end of this course, participants will:• Test your ability to actively listen• Identify the difference between ‘hearing’ and‘listening’• Determine active listening principles• Identify your own communication behaviours• Understand how your emotions effect the abilityto listen and communicate
• Understand the use of ‘minimal encouragers’• Learn to paraphrase and restate for clarification• Practice active listening skills• Manage an encouraging and productivebrainstorming environment