5 Tips to become an active listener

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By Shreya Chakravorty

Active listening requires more than open ears and it mainly involves engaging with the speaker by showing empathy and support. The way you respond to the conversation also shows that you care about what the other person has to say.

This communication skill may not come naturally, but that’s OK. Anyone can work to become a more active listener. Here are five simple tips on becoming a good active listener.

Body Language

Your body plays an important role in communication and it also tells the other person you’re involved in the conversation or not.

Don’t fear silence

Silence isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you were listening, not formulating a reply, so it’s perfectly understandable to need a moment or two to offer a thoughtful response.

Validate their feelings

Someone who is telling their distress or personal challenges won’t necessarily want a solution. They may just want someone to hear them and cares about what they’re going through. So, stay focused on their perspective instead of questioning their emotions. You can still validate someone when you disagree.

Ask thoughtful questions

By asking questions shows your interest and involvement when the conversation reaches a natural pause. Here are some open-ended questions invite the most detail:

  • What did you do after that?
  • How are you feeling after that happened?

Avoid offering advice

At some point, you will probably find yourself you simply don’t agree with, but briefly setting aside your own opinions can help you keep an open mind.

Shreya is a trainee writer with TimesJobs

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