Active listening

Active listening is a human skill focused on listening carefully to the person with whom a conversation is being held. It is not about being aware of giving an answer and just hearing what he says. This communication skill aims to listen carefully and actively to any individual or something that is communicating.

Active listening

Active listening is a highly valued skill in people. Many companies consider this virtue among candidates who apply for a job.

When active listening is put into practice, it is not just about hearing the message or information, but about fully and actively attending to what is being revealed.

Elements of active listening

Three prominent elements intervene in active listening:

  • Sender: It is the person who reveals the message or communication so that it is captured effectively by the receiver.
  • Message: It is the information that the issuer emits and that has to reach the receiver in a correct and coherent way so that it is easily assimilated.
  • Receiver: The person who receives that information.

Sender and receiver switch roles during the conversation, as they reveal different messages between them. The important thing about this is the attitude that both have when it comes to maintaining this communication process. If we speak of active listening, both will be attentive to the messages, not activated alone to respond, but to empathize, understand and listen to the other interlocutor.

Active listening techniques

Here are some recommended techniques to put active listening into practice:

  • Interest: This is a prominent indication to maintain a conversation where one individual is willing to speak and the other to listen, also exchanging roles and maintaining this mechanism during communication. Both show interest in the information that is being shared.
  • Empathy: Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand what they are saying is a sign that you want to actively listen. It is not about agreeing with the opinion they express, but about putting yourself in their situation to understand that person.
  • Reinforcement: There are samples and expressions through verbal and non-verbal language, which reinforce communication. For example, good or great. It is about reinforcing with these words what you are showing in terms of communication. It also means an active involvement on the part of the participants in the communication process.
  • Paraphrasing: One of the things that makes one person feel heard is for the other to repeat what they are saying with their own expressions. This means that it is actively listening to you and verifying that you are understanding the received message.
  • Ask: If someone listens attentively and engages in the conversation, asking questions in search of solutions or to find out more information, it is synonymous with being fully involved in the communication.

Importance of active listening

Active listening shows that the person who puts it into practice cares about understanding and listening to what is happening.

It is important because it allows you to empathize with emotions, situations and behaviors performed by other individuals. It also allows you to put yourself in the shoes of another person and that he can express what he feels sincerely and clearly.

Active listening is intended to get to know people better and understand what is going on around them. It offers the possibility of improving knowledge and obtaining useful data about what they say about a brand or a person.

Companies sharpen this communicative ability a lot, since they must pay special attention to everything that is said about them in the market. Likewise, knowing the opinions of your customers and listening to them will also help them to improve their business.

Active listening example

If we have a conversation with someone paying attention to them, without interrupting them to tell them our things, it will be something significant, since we will be putting active listening into practice.

After attending to the information that person tells us, we can then intervene and raise our opinion, doubts or suggestions.