Active listening- part 2

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Once you feel comfortable using simple active listening techniques, you can combine them with more challenging ways to actively listen. The two techniques presented in this blog post will really make your communication partner appreciate that you are making an effort to listen to them:


1. Paraphrasing

2. Emotional understanding


1. Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is like repeating but in this case you restate using different words. In this way, you demonstrate a high level of engagement and understanding, for example:

“The new price is 300 dollars.”

“I see, it’s a little more expensive now.”

“I have two brothers and three sisters.”

“Really? You come from a big family.”

You can introduce your restatements with an empty expressions, in addition you can use “so, you are saying…”, “in other words…” and “you mean…”.


2. Emotional understanding

“Three-fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you.” (Dale Carnegie)

There is a high probability that attempting to demonstrate emotional understanding when listening will likely have a strongly positive result on the success of your communication, for example:

“I’m getting married next month.”


“My train was delayed by an hour this morning.”

“Oh, that’s tough.”




For further practice in these techniques consider responses to the following statements using paraphrasing and/or emotional understanding:


“I have an interview for a job tomorrow.”

“My client has asked me to work for him directly.”

“I’ve got terrible toothache.”

“A huge new competitor has entered our market.”


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