This fast-speaking fellow goes through some of the critical elements for listening. Was this useful to you? Let us know if you have other resources that help explain listening.
Active listening is another way of helping your friend or family member through a challenging situation. By active listening, you are not only deepening your own understanding of what is being said, you are helping the speaker to better understand their own thoughts and feelings. Most of us need help to process our thoughts and feelings and often the words we use will change and evolve as we work through a situation. When you use active listening, you are demonstrating that you care AND you are helping the speaker to better understand themselves. The basic components of active listening are;
1. Pay attention. Use the same good listening skills described in Relational Listening.
2. Ask questions to gain additional information, to find out how they feel about what they are saying, to clarify what they mean, and to confirm your understanding.
3. Respond (reflect, summarize, paraphrase) to confirm and demonstrate you understand the speaker.
Active listening is highly promoted through the work of Dr. Thomas Gordon and his Effectiveness Training books and courses. We can see the potential impact of Active Listening as Dr. Thomas Gordon was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1997,1998, and 1999. Many people agree that the world can be transformed through better listening.
Watch the humorous clips from the popular sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond as the parents are introduced to Active Listening, and then apply it in their parenting! Active Listening can be applied in many areas of our life, and practising it in less serious situations will help you to become proficient during the more challenging conversations.