Active or reflective listening is the way of listening and responding that makes the speaker feels that they have been heard here are some ways…

Try: Active or reflective listening is the way of listening and responding that makes the speaker feels that they have been heard here are some ways you can actively listen focusing – keep your attention on the speaker don’t talk or interrupt while the speaker is speaking use positive body language as you listen; lean forward maintain good eye contact and use a relaxed body posture observe the speaker’s tone of voice their body language and their feelings don’t let your attention be diverted by distractions responding – give a positive non-verbal response as the speaker is speaking by nodding your head in an encouraging way if you give a verbal response make it non-threatening and sincere you might say "i see " or "that’s interesting " control your emotions and don’t let certain words or subjects color your objectivity as you listen restating – you can restate or paraphrase your understanding of what the speaker has said this will give the speaker an opportunity to correct any misinterpretations that you might have clarifying – this allows you to expand upon what you have heard thus possibly encouraging the speaker to give more information and possibly open up more reflecting – this gives you a chance to make sure you have interpreted the message correctly by reflecting back to the speaker any content that has been heard or perceived by clues given in the speech feedback – this allows the listener to share your feelings as to the speaker’s experiences always thank the speaker for sharing and let them know that you respect their thoughts and opinions even if the experience has been difficult for them there are however barriers to being a good listener some of these are external barriers – distractions around you such as noise clutter and being in a place where you can be interrupted listener’s internal barriers – letting preconceived emotions prejudices attitudes personality traits and assumptions color how well you truly hear what is said allowing your concentration to stray to thoughts outside of the speaker’s subject matter and "daydreaming " speaker’s internal barriers – putting themselves and their subject matter at risk by having high expectations as to how it will be received speaking in a technical based language which may be second nature to the speaker but not understood at all by the listening audience offering too much information to the listener which makes the essential point the speaker is trying to make hard for the listener to identify making the listener confused things to remember in order to become a more effective listener keep an open mind – set aside prejudices and opinions don’t use a silent moment of the speaker to "jump" into the conversation they may just need time to organize their thoughts being an active listener doesn’t mean that you have to be in agreement with the speaker just that you accept and understand what they are saying try to control emotions of anger or frustration that the speaker may invoke in you and don’t act on those emotions references adapted from new jersey self-help group clearinghouse "improving your listening skills"

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*This information is listed as a Fact Sheet and is not explicitly medically licensed

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