Listening Skills

7313558816_b234490948_zIn situations that require us to speak to a group, we tend to overly focus on ourselves talking. However, listening is the key to good communication skills. Active listening helps you to make useful contributions to group discussions, pay attention to feedback you receive, provide constructive feedback for others, be attentive to feedback you receive, and respond appropriately to questions about your work or ideas.

Listen to yourself listening:

  • concentrate on what is being said
  • listen with an open mind
  • take your time to process and understand information before responding
  • how does what is being said compare with your thoughts
  • defer your judgement and attend to what is actually being said, not what you want to think

Listen to yourself talking

  • identify what the key points are, summarise what you have heard
  • reflect back your understanding of what is being said
  • ask for clarification if you don’t understand something
  • encourage development of ideas through questioning

 

Image: Clare Marks on GSA Flickr