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Listening Skills

When we think of communication many of us initially think about the way we express ourselves. Of equal importance is the ability to listen.

Five Techniques

Here are 5 techniques to help you with your listening skills:

TechniquePurposeExample
ClarifyingTo secure additional facts.

To help explore all sides of a problem.
'Do you mean ...?'

'Could you explain that?'
RestatingTo check meaning and interpretation with the speaker.

To encourage the speaker to analyse other aspects of the situation and discuss them.
'As I understand, your proposal is to ...'

'Let's see if I have it right, you want to ...'
NeutralTo indicate you are listening and interested.

To encourage the speaker to continue speaking.
'I see'

'That's interesting'
ReflectiveTo demonstrate that you understand how the speaker feels.


To help the speaker evaluate feelings as expressed by another person.
'You feel that the decision wasn't made with all of the facts'

'The situation as you saw it was shocking'
Summarising ideasTo bring discussion into focus.

For easy summary.

To serve as a springboard for further discussion or as a new aspect.
'These are the key points...'

'Am I correct in saying this is how you feel about the situation...?'

Which of these techniques do you use regularly and which can you work on?

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Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone is the author of Success Talks: Conversations with Everyday Leaders. Maria works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. She provides tailored programs in presentation skills, business writing and effective communication as a leader and team member. Maria’s programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
30 Business Communication Tips

Looking for tips to help you with your speaking, writing and interpersonal communication?

Then download my free ebook, 30 Business Communication Tips.

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