Tips on… Active listening
- By: Ruth McGuire
For most people, listening is a passive activity, and there is often confusion between hearing and listening. Research suggests that people listen to only 30% of what they hear.
Barriers to effective listening include preoccupation with own interests or worries, appearance of the speaker, noise, etc.
Active sensitive listening requires hearing, understanding, and interpreting. Good listeners give their undivided attention to the “speaker” and think of questions that can be asked in order to clarify understanding.
Summarising or paraphrasing what has been said confirms interest in the speaker and aids understanding.