Active Listening Exercises

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Active Listening Exercises

Comments Over a month ago Michele wrote Hi carolynanderson123, As you have pointed out active listening can be applied in many situations. Coaching and interviewing are two other examples of where active listening is beneficial. Thank you for all your tips on how to become a better active listener. Michele Mind Tools Team Over a month ago carolynanderson123 wrote On the other hand, active listening formats a communication barrel using the technique in many assets such as training, counseling because it demands that the person who is listening should concentrate entirely towards responding and understanding to what has were said. Like how do I listen well? Such as Stop Talking, Prepare Yourself to Listen, Relax, and Put the Speaker at Ease, help the speaker to feel free to speak. Also, how can you improve your listening skills? Such as pay attention, give the speaker your undivided attention, acknowledge the message, Show That You’re Listening, use your body language, and gestures to convey your attention. Over a month ago Midgie wrote HI drott67, Thanks for that feedback. Hope you enjoy more of our resources to further develop your skills and knowledge. Midgie Mind Tools Team View All Comments
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Active Listening Exercises

A Munich-based marital therapy study conducted by Dr. Kurt Hahlweg and associates found that even after employing active listening techniques in the context of couple’s therapy, the typical couple was still distressed. Active listening was criticized by John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work as being of limited usefulness: “Active listening asks couples to perform Olympic-level emotional gymnastics when their relationship can barely walk. . . . After studying some 650 couples and tracking the fate of their marriages for up to fourteen years, we now understand that this approach to counseling doesn’t work, not just because it’s nearly impossible for most couples to do well, but more importantly because successful conflict resolution isn’t what makes marriages succeed. One of the most startling findings of our research is that most couples who have maintained happy marriages rarely do anything that even partly resembles active listening when they’re upset.”
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Active Listening Exercises

Questions Challenges by Mark Crawford is an excellent activity to help participants understand active listening and reinforce the learning. After the questions are asked tell the participants that you will be asking 2 more questions. Take a long pause, act as though you are preparing the questions. You will find most participants eagerly leaning towards you and waiting for the questions. After a deliberate long pause tell them that there are no more questions to be asked, but during the pause they were all in an active listening mode. Do not debrief immediately. Let the participants think and reflect on their experience. Debrief after 2 – 3 minutes using all the active listening parameters like suspended judgment, focus on the speaker, leaning forward, the silence which prevailed during the pause etc.
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Active Listening Exercises

On the other hand, active listening formats a communication barrel using the technique in many assets such as training, counseling because it demands that the person who is listening should concentrate entirely towards responding and understanding to what has were said. Like how do I listen well? Such as Stop Talking, Prepare Yourself to Listen, Relax, and Put the Speaker at Ease, help the speaker to feel free to speak. Also, how can you improve your listening skills? Such as pay attention, give the speaker your undivided attention, acknowledge the message, Show That You’re Listening, use your body language, and gestures to convey your attention.
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Active Listening Exercises

Key Points It takes a lot of concentration and determination to be an active listener. Old habits are hard to break, and if your listening skills are as bad as many people’s are, then there’s a lot of habit-breaking to do! Be deliberate with your listening and remind yourself frequently that your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying. Set aside all other thoughts and behaviors and concentrate on the message. Ask questions, reflect, and paraphrase to ensure you understand the message. If you don’t, then you’ll find that what someone says to you and what you hear can be amazingly different! Start using active listening techniques today to become a better communicator, improve your workplace productivity, and develop better relationships.
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Active Listening Exercises

To use the active listening technique to improve interpersonal communication, one puts personal emotions aside during the conversation, asks questions and paraphrases back to the speaker to clarify understanding, and one also tries to overcome all types of environment distractions. Judging or arguing prematurely is a result of holding onto a strict personal opinion. This hinders the ability to be able to listen closely to what is being said. Eye contact and appropriate body languages are seen as important components to active listening. The stress and intonation may also keep them active and away from distractions.
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Active Listening Exercises

Learn how to become an empathetic, attentive, and active listener with the listening skills exercises listed below. You can also review this guide on the numerous components of the listening process for reference, or learn how to improve your general communications skills in one day with this guide.

Active Listening Exercises

The whole idea behind the exercise is to show people that we allow visual stimulus to get in the way of our listening. I use the Marker to distract them visually so they are not listening. Most trainees get it within a couple of minutes; for those who don’t, I ask them close their eyes. Once they do this they will usually get it.  Finally, we debrief what happened and why it was so hard to “hear” what was going on. We tie this back to active listening. Posted by Thomas Swartwood
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To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what he or she is saying. To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you’ve ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying. You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it’s even worthwhile continuing to speak. It feels like talking to a brick wall and it’s something you want to avoid.
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Retaining is the second step in the listening process. Memory is essential to the listening process because the information retained when a person is involved in the listening process is how meaning from words is created. Because everyone has different memories, the speaker and the listener may attach different meanings to the same statement. However, memories are fallible, things like cramming may cause information to be forgotten.
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The way to improve your listening skills is to practice “active listening.” This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.
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Active listening is a communication technique used in counseling, training, and conflict resolution. It requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said. This is opposed to reflective listening where the listener repeats back to the speaker what they have just heard to confirm understanding of both parties.
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Active listening intentionally focuses on who you are listening to, whether in a group or one-on-one, in order to understand what he or she is saying. As the listener, you should then be able to repeat back in your own words what they have said to their satisfaction. This does not mean you agree with the person,but rather understand what they are saying.

Telephone might be considered a child’s game, but it’s actually a very useful exercise in communication that those working to improve their own or their team’s listening skills can benefit from greatly. The rules are simple, but altered slightly to shed additional light on the importance of active listening, and how information can become distorted as a result of laziness, inattentiveness, and passivity… all enemies of effective communication.
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A “Thumball” is a soft vinyl ball that looks like a soccer ball, but is pre-printed with discussion prompts. All Thumballs promote communication and listening and are a great source of questions for groups that want to practice active listening. It can be enlightening to privately tell “listeners” to be disrespectful (look away, interrupt, take a phone call, etc.) and then have the groups discuss the impact of such behaviors. For activities like this, the Getting-to-Know-You Thumball and “Shaped by Our Past” are good choices. Posted online by Susan Landay
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The act of listening is not the same as hearing. When someone is communicating with you, they want to feel like they’re talking to you, rather than at you, and that can only be done with a set of good listening skills and an understanding of the principles of effective communication in general.
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Active listening is used in a wide variety of situations, including public interest advocacy, community organizing, tutoring, medical workers talking to patients, HIV counseling, helping suicidal persons, management, counseling and journalistic settings. In groups it may aid in reaching consensus. It may also be used in casual conversation or small talk to build understanding, though this can be interpreted as condescending.

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