In response to your BRAGGING RIGHTS survey feedback, this blog addresses the topic of Active Listening.
When you practice active listening, you make the other person feel heard and valued. In this way, active listening is the foundation for any successful conversation. Sometimes we confuse LISTENING with HEARING. However, listening requires attention, meaning it’s active. Hearing is passive — you can’t close your ears, so sounds will enter and be heard. This makes it involuntary.
As an active listener, you are there to act as a sounding board rather than ready to jump in with your own ideas and opinions about what is being said. This can be difficult for all of us to do and requires thought and practice.
Tips for Practicing Active Listening
The following tips will help you to become a better active listener:
- Make eye contact while the other person speaks. In general, you should aim for eye contact about 60% to 70% of the time while you are listening. Lean toward the other person, and nod your head occasionally. Avoid folding your arms as this signals that you are not listening.
- Paraphrase what has been said, rather than offering unsolicited advice or opinions. You might start this off by saying “In other words, what you are saying is…”.
- Don’t interrupt while the other person is speaking. Do not prepare your reply while the other person speaks; the last thing that he or she says may change the meaning of what has already been said.
- Watch nonverbal behavior to pick up on hidden meaning, in addition to listening to what is said. Facial expressions, tone of voice, and other behaviors can sometimes tell you more than words alone.
- Shut down your internal dialogue while listening. Avoid daydreaming. It is impossible to attentively listen to someone else and your own internal voice at the same time.
- Show interest by asking questions to clarify what is said. Ask open-ended questions to encourage the speaker. Avoid closed yes-or-no questions that tend to shut down the conversation.
- Avoid abruptly changing the subject; it will appear that you were not listening to the other person.
- Be open, neutral, and withhold judgment while listening.
- Be patient while you listen. We are capable of listening much faster than others can speak.
- Learn to recognize active listening. Watch television interviews and observe whether the interviewer is practicing active listening. Learn from the mistakes of others.
Something to think about…
Other upcoming events:
- Manor Middle Spirit Week Feb. 7 – Feb.11
- Monday PJ’s
- Tuesday Crazy Socks
- Wednesday Hair Color
- Thursday Flannel
- Friday Freaky Friday
- February 16, 2022 Last day for Cult. Arts rotation#6
- February 18, 2022 Early Dismissal
- February 21, 2022 No School President’s Day
By the way, if you haven’t completed the BRAGGING RIGHTS survey, you may still do so! So far, we have received 18 responses – Thank you!