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A woman listens to a colleague.

A woman listens to a colleague.

Pando Hall / Getty Images

Listening is to give your attention to something or someone who is making a sound. In active or deep listening, which are words used to describe effective listening styles, the listener exhibits certain powerful listening behaviors. This listening is perceived, by the person who is being listened to, as evidence that the listener is really hearing and understanding what the person is trying to communicate.

In active listening, the person who is the listener, conveys to the person whom he or she is listening to, their deepest respect. This is conveyed through a serious effort to focus in on and concentrate on the words and the meaning that the person who is communicating with them, is trying to convey. In active listening:

  • The listener asks questions that probe and focus on understanding and clarifying the meaning of what the communicator is trying to convey.
  • The listener focuses his or her mind and full attention on the words and meaning of the person communicating as observed and heard through such components of speaking as their words, tone of voice, nonverbal facial expressions and body language, examples, and speaking speed.
  • The goal of active listening is shared meaning in which the listener and the person communicating are in agreement about what was conveyed.
  • In active listening, the listener provides the communicator, affirming body language, murmured agreement words, and other sounds and actions that help the person communicating feel heard out and listened to.

If an employee repeatedly raises the same issues or points of view to you, as a listener, the fundamental issue to consider is that the employee repeats himself because he doesn't feel you are hearing him. Look at your active listening habits to see if the needed listening component is here.

Also Known As: active listening, deep listening
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