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Chapter 27. Listen and Learn

Active listening is demonstrating empathy for the speaker, setting aside judgments, listening for facts, emotions, needs, and intent. It is showing understanding and interest.

  1. Listen to facts, ideas, and intent.

  2. Visually observe and assess the speaker’s nonverbal communication and interpret what the speaker is saying with body language.

  3. Monitor your own nonverbal communication. Be aware of the messages you are sending with your body and facial expressions.

  4. Notice your emotional triggers and their effect on you.

  5. Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes and respect his or her viewpoint.

  6. Pause when appropriate.

  7. Don’t interrupt.

  8. Avoid judgmental or critical comments.

  9. Rephrase to clarify.

  10. Focus on what the speaker is saying.

  11. Be aware of your biases and set them aside.

  12. Avoid assumptions in the absence of facts.

  13. Take notes, if appropriate.

  14. Do not fake attention.

  15. Eliminate distractions.

  16. Ask the speaker to repeat what you don’t understand.

  17. Remain objective.

  18. Control emotional responses.

  19. Make appropriate eye contact.

  20. Use “I” statements such as “Let me see if I understand this” rather than “you” statements such as “What you’re saying is…”


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