ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS
                                                    “Be InterestED not InterestING”

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1. Let the...
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Active Listening Skills for Business – A Checklist for Businesspeople, By Michelle Villalobos

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Active listening is probably the SINGLE most important soft skill in business. Learn to listen more effectively, put people at ease and have people LIKE you more.

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Active Listening Skills for Business – A Checklist for Businesspeople, By Michelle Villalobos

  1. 1. ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS “Be InterestED not InterestING” DO 1. Let the other party dominate the discussion 2. Be attentive, interested and alert to what they’re saying 3. Ask open-ended questions 4. Be sensitive to any emotions expressed 5. Be a “mirror” – reflect back to the other party the substance and feelings being expressed 6. Provide limited but encouraging responses that carry the speaker's idea one step forward 7. Act as a sounding board for the speaker to bounce ideas and feelings off of 8. Provide brief, noncommittal acknowledging responses, ("Uh-huh," "I see.") 9. Give nonverbal acknowledgements (head nodding, facial expressions, open and relaxed body posture, eye contact) 10. Invite the speaker to say more, e.g., "Tell me about it," "I'd like to hear about that." DON’T 1. Discount the speaker's feelings by using stock phrases like "It's not that bad," or "You'll feel better tomorrow." 2. Ask too many questions – it can feel like you’re "grilling" the speaker 3. Interrupt 4. Change the subject or move in a new direction 5. Rehearse in your own head 6. Interrogate 7. Teach or preach 8. Give advice 9. Judge 10. “One-up” the speaker’s stories – save it for later Specific Active Listening Skills Attending, acknowledging: Provide verbal or nonverbal awareness of the other person, (i.e., eye contact, nodding, smiling) Restating, paraphrasing: Respond to the speaker’s basic verbal message by rewording and seeking positive reinforcement that you understood correctly (“So do you mean that...”) Reflecting: Reflect back feelings, experiences, or content that you’ve heard or perceived through cues (“Wow, it seems like that made you feel...”) Interpreting: Offer a tentative interpretation about the other's feelings, desires, or meanings (“Does that mean that you...?” or “You must have been angry, how did you respond?”) Summarizing, synthesizing: Bring together in some way the feelings and experiences the speaker has described, thereby providing a focus (“From that whole story, it sounds like this whole year has been pretty amazing!”) Probing: Question in a supportive way that requests more information or that attempts to clear up confusions (“Wait, I don’t think I understood that last part, did you mean that...”) Giving feedback: Share perceptions of the other's ideas or feelings; disclosing relevant personal information (“I know how you felt, something similar happened to me once and the experience also made me...” – but don’t “one-up”) Supporting: Show warmth and caring in your own individual way Checking perceptions: Find out if your interpretations and perceptions are valid and accurate (“That makes me think that maybe you’re experiencing some problems with your operations and processes, does that sound right?”) Being quiet: Give the other person time to think as well as to talk Adapted from: Pickering, Marisue, "Communication" in EXPLORATIONS, A Journal of Research of the University of Maine, Vol. 3, No. 1, Fall 1986, pp 16-19. Copyright 2008, Mivista Consulting, Inc. www.mivistaconsulting.com

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