Active Listening is one of the greatest skills which can significantly improves communication. Most people are convinced they are great listeners but often times cannot offer an adequate summary of conversations. This means that more often than not, they aren’t listening effectively, because often times, people are primarily concerned about their response.

To improve communication in any situation, one must first improve their active listening skills, which includes: 

Concentration

Concentration is an active listening skill that can be mastered with practice. Clear any distractions in your mind and make a conscious decision to focus on what the person is speaking. For anyone in business, this skill can enhance communication relationship between the employer and employees or clients resulting in
increased turnarounds.

Body Language

It’s important for your body to show interest in what the speaker is saying. You can establish eye contact, stand or sit while facing the speaker and encourage them by nodding or affirming where appropriate. You can also adjust your sitting position by leaning slightly forward. Non-verbal cues are very important for
effective communication.

Ask Questions

Rather than trying to explain what the other party has said, a good listener will ask questions for clarification. This gives the other person a chance to say more and explain themselves leading to better communication.

Recap or Summary

Offering a recap or a summary of what was said is a great way to demonstrate a genuine interest in understanding what the other party has to say.

Remove Distractions

Locate a quiet place that is free from noise and movements. Eliminate any background noise or activity that may interfere with your concentration.

Focus on Listening

Try and stay focused on what is being said. Refrain from trying to formulate a response in your mind mid-conversation because you will stop listening actively and you might end missing out the most important aspect of the conversation. Continue to listen to the speaker and after they have finished, take your time to
formulate the appropriate response.

Avoid Interrupting

Resist any urge of interrupting the speaker. You can only respond, make comments or ask questions when the speaker has paused or finished. Interrupting someone mid-conversation may make them get annoyed or feel intimidated hence they might end up not communicating effectively.

Active Listening is important for effective communication and enhances rapport. For example, if communicating with an unhappy customer carefully listen to what they have to say then provide an appropriate response, solution, or advice. This helps to foster an improved relationship between the business and the customer because actively listening helps customers feel understood and validated. Actively listening also helps to reduce conflicts, misunderstandings, and motivates others to communicate more freely.