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Active Listening in Consulting

Active Listening in Consulting

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  • 1.  
  • 2.  
  • 3. Why we don’t listen
    • Primary reason a consultant does not listen is because he (thinks) he already has the answer
    • Preconceived notion
    • Plan before a problem
    • Counterproductive
  • 4. Why we don’t listen
    • Distraction!
    • Too many irons in the fire
    • Too many clients and not enough time
    • Blackberrys and pagers
    • “ I’m too important” syndrome
  • 5. Why we don’t listen
    • Conflict
    • Time spent focusing on what to say next
    • No time spent on what other party is saying
    • Lack of understanding and empathy on both sides
  • 6. What is Active Listening?
    • A way of listening to another person that focuses the attention on that person and on understanding what that person is saying
    • Widely used tactic in education, medical fields (counseling), and consulting
    • Builds relationships, prevents misunderstandings, focuses efforts
  • 7. Components of Active Listening
    • Parroting
    • Most basic form of active listening
    • Restate what the speaker has said
    • Not recommended to use parroting very often in a conversation – can be condescending
  • 8. Components of Active Listening
    • Paraphrasing
    • Should be primary method of active listening
    • Restate what the speaker has said but in your own words
    • Gives speaker opportunity to correct any misunderstandings
  • 9. Components of Active Listening
    • Feeling feedback is the last component of active listening
    • Difficult to master
    • Involves incorporating feeling words with a paraphrase of what the speaker is saying
    • Great for clarification if feeling listener understands is not the feeling the speaker wishes to convey
  • 10. Supporting Components
    • Make the commitment to listen and withhold your own opinions. DO NOT PLAN while the client is explaining the problem!
    • Ask open-ended questions that give the client the ability to elaborate
    • Use body language to show your interest
    • Resist the urge to take copious amounts of notes. Jot one or two words maximum. Record the session with the client if given permission
  • 11. Questions? Comments? Concerns?
    • Nancy D. Dowdle
    • [email_address]