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Active listening- part 1

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In all communication, it is just as important to listen, as it is to speak. However, how do you imagine somebody from North America would you feel if they were speaking in a meeting and another participant closed his or her eyes in an effort to concentrate on the spoken words?

 

In a global environment, we highly recommend that you perform your listening actively. The main benefits of active listening include, firstly, that you reduce the chance of miscommunication because you are demonstrating your understanding of your partner’s message and secondly, that by actively listening you are giving some kind of positive feedback to your communication partner and therefore encouraging them to speak. Here are three very simple ways to demonstrate active listening:

 

1. Body language

2. Empty expressions

3. Repeating

 

1. Body language

There are several non-verbal ways to demonstrate active listening. When somebody is speaking remove barriers by folding down laptops, turn toward the speaker, make eye contact and nod occasionally.

 

2. Empty expressions

There are several words in English that don’t have a tremendous meaning, but are useful for demonstrating to others that you are listening. These include:

“I see”, “right”, “okay”, “uh-huh”, “hmmm”, “alright” and “really”

 

3. Repeating

Occasionally repeat keywords to let your partner know you have heard. For example:

“The new price is 300 dollars.”

“300 dollars.”

 

 

You can practice these techniques easily with a partner. If you are on your own, however, just copy and paste this post into this free online text to speech website and use your computer as your communication partner!

 

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