Communication: Active Listening
Active listening will dramatically improve the way in which you communicate.
The points below will help you master the art of active listening; a skill to seek to help you better communicate with others in your small groups, Bible studies, and life in general.
Do not listen half-heartedly; focus on the person communicating.
Concentrate on what is being said.
Listen with your ears but also with your eyes and other senses.
Follow and understand the speaker as if you were walking in his or her shoes.
Focus on what the speaker is saying, not on how you plan to answer.
Try not to interrupt until the speaker has concluded his or her statements.
You should be able to repeat back in your own words what the speaker just said.
Use Nonverbal Communication to Encourage the Speaker and Show Your Interest
Facial expressions: smile and make eye contact
Posture: face the speaker, lean forward
Listen for key words of interest on which to comment and ask questions.
Actively respond at the appropriate times in the conversation.
Is the space conducive to listening?
Are there avoidable distractions?
Benefits of Active Listening
Active listening encourages dialogue, tends to open people up and creates deeper relationships within the group.