Active Listening Skills

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A crucial part of learning is listening. The development of communication skills necessary for both inside and outside the classroom is significantly influenced by a student’s capacity for active listening. A crucial “soft skill” like problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork is active listening. It’s a skill that can be learned and improved, but mastery requires persistence and time.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU ACTIVELY LISTEN?

Giving the speaker your full attention and making an effort to comprehend their entire message are both examples of active listening. Both verbal and nonverbal cues of active listening are displayed. Verbal indicators of active listening include affirmation, recalling, and questioning. Smiling, head nodding, posture, and avoiding all forms of distraction are examples of nonverbal cues. Encouragement of uplifting dialogue is another aspect of active listening. This entails understanding the opposing viewpoint and being able to summarise what was said in your own terms.

 

ACTIVE LISTENING: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Active listeners typically have greater communication and problem-solving skills, in addition to having higher comprehension in the classroom. Being an attentive listener is crucial to leadership because it demonstrates integrity and dedication.

 

Being an attentive listener has advantages such as:

  1. Less miscommunications
  2. Increased work rate
  3. Increased inventiveness
  4. More independence
  5. Increased output

 

A Comparison of Active and Passive Listening

So what happens if you’re not paying attention? Passive listening is a trap that you could fall into. Simply hearing what is being said without making an effort to grasp it is passive listening. Because they are easily distracted, children who listen passively do not retain information. Instead of only hearing the words the speaker is saying, active listening challenges the listener to comprehend the message the speaker is trying to convey. Students need to actively exercise and improve the crucial talent of improving their listening. What can you do to assist your child to become a better listener?

 

ACTIVE LISTENING IN FIVE STEPS

By practicing active listening themselves, parents, teachers, and other caregivers can model for their charges how to do the same. Your youngster will be able to understand the value and significance of active listening by watching you practice it. Additionally, it provides your youngster with a framework for creating personal listening practices.

 

These 5 suggestions will help you and your child both develop active listening skills:

1. Keep your eyes open.

Eye contact is a sign of trustworthiness, warmth, sociability, honesty, confidence, and activity. Keeping your eyes focused can help you concentrate better. This makes it easier for you to fully comprehend what is being spoken.

2. Avoid interfering

Before responding, let the other person finish their thought. Do not rush them, finish their sentences, or interrupt them. Avoid speculating or making assumptions about the direction of another person’s thoughts; doing so can hinder good communication.

3. Pose inquiries

Asking specific questions regarding what is being said is one approach to demonstrate that you are paying attention (and ensure you are hearing it accurately). This offers an explanation, guarantees comprehension, and demonstrates that you are paying attention.

Try asking these four types of questions:

Open-ended: expand the discussion further
Example: “How was your day at school today?”

Close-ended: prompt for specifics
Example: “Are you finished your homework?”

Leading: prompts the respondent to answer in a particular way
Example: “Do you have too much homework?”

Reflective: expand and extend thinking
Example: “You mentioned math is your favorite subject in school, tell me more about that.”

 

4. Replicate the speaker’s words.

Reiterate what was said in your own terms to the original speaker. This ensures that you have comprehended everything they have said. Reiterate the main ideas of the speech in your summary. The speaker will have a chance to correct you if necessary in this way.

5. Try to hear the full meaning.

Any message has two parts: the message’s content and any underlying sentiment or attitude. Both components are critical and give the message its purpose. Pay attention to the substance as well as the underlying feelings. Sometimes the feeling rather than the text conveys the true meaning. By employing these suggestions, you and your kid are building the abilities required for better active listening. Your child’s listening skills will continue to develop as you use these techniques with him or her.

 

STUDENT ACTIVE LISTENING ACTIVITIES

The first step in teaching your child to actively listen is to set an example for them. It is crucial to put these abilities into practice. To assist your child’s listening skills grow and improve, try some of these exercises.

  1. Tell your child stories. To foresee what will happen next, ask him or her. Your child must pay attention to the specifics in order to forecast the outcome logically.
  2. Cooking with your kid. In order to complete the recipe correctly, have your child listen to and follow each step as you read it to him or her.
  3. Have discussions with your youngster about their interests. This allows your child the opportunity to participate in a real discussion while honing their speaking and listening skills.
  4. Play the game of telephone. Have a conversation as a group, with each individual whispering a line to the one after them. Up until the last person, each person repeats it to the subsequent one. See how much the two sentences differ by having this person read the sentence aloud.
  5. Together with your child, make a list of questions they can ask you or a sibling. See how many the others can recall once the first person has given their response. Change roles and evaluate how the other person does.
  6. Play the game “Spot the Change.” Read a brief story to your child. Then, after some revisions, read it again. Have your child clap or raise his or her hand each time they hear a change.
  7. Make “follow the directions” your own. Give your child brief, straightforward instructions, and then ask them to sketch what they hear.

Being a better listener requires a lot of focus and perseverance. Students who regularly employ active listening practices will improve their communication skills and develop lifelong listening abilities.

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