Listening Skills

Listening Skills

There are many ways we listen, and we can improve our listening skills.

Start with an awareness of your own tendencies.  Common is hearing something that reminds of a different story or example, then missing most of what was said.  Also common are listening to respond and analyzing the speaker.  Each of these tendencies is normal and each gets in the way of listening.  Awareness and choice are options for managing these tendencies and moving toward being present and truly listening.

Next is developing your listening skills.  Several that are taught in coach training are highlighted here with information on how to use the skill.

Listening Skills
Listening Skills

Active listening: Start by clearing and opening your mind.  Choose to listen with all your focus and demonstrate this choice through body language and by acknowledging what is being said.  Maintain eye contact with the speaker, listening to understand the meaning is behind the words.

Rephrasing: Succinctly summarize what was said using the speaker’s key words.  Rephrasing enhances the clarity for the speaker of what they said plus is an opportunity to correct or clarify for better understanding. Rephrasing demonstrates hearing.

Reflecting: Reflect what was NOT said – the emotion or energy behind the words.  Reflecting demonstrates understanding.

Cumulative listening: Listen to what is being said now and recognize then observe how it connects or relates to what has been said in the past.

Listen on Multiple Levels: Be aware of whether the speaker is emotion or logic, passive or aggressive. Notice visual, auditory, or kinesthetic language.  Identify language patterns and thought patterns.  Recognize context.

Coaching certification develops competency in listening.  Using these listening skills in everyday conversations further enhances your skills while also enriching your life.


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