What is “Active Listening”?
Active listening – as an essential tool of communication – makes it its task to better understand the interlocutor and is thus considered the most important discipline of conducting a conversation. Above all, it is about listening attentively to one’s counterpart, agreeing with him and, if necessary, asking questions.
The key elements of “active listening”
The founder of talk therapy in medical psychology, Carl Ransom Rogers, sees three elements as the basis for “Active Listening”:
- An empathetic and open attitude
- The appearance of the interlocutor should be authentic and similar
- Offering acceptance and positive regard
- The interlocutors can better respond to each other
- Active listening forms the sensible argumentation basis for the further course of the conversation
- Misunderstandings become less frequent
- Building a level of trust
- Creating a good atmosphere
- Understand the mindset of his counterpart
- Engage with the person you are talking to
- Correspond emotionally
- Animate your counterpart to an action
- Understand the opinion and motives of the interlocutor and respect them
- Repeat important points, as well as thoughts of the interlocutor
Means with which to signal “active listening”
A distinction is made between verbal and nonverbal means that can be used to signal to your interlocutor that you are actively listening.
- “Yes”, “I understand” and so on signal agreement
- “Could you please explain that to me again in a little more detail?! – signals a follow-up question.
- Restraint of one’s own opinion
- Do not interrupt the person you are talking to, let them finish.
- Keep eye contact
- Make notes if necessary
- A nod
- Keep your eyes open