6 Reasons Why Active Listening Is Important
So, “why is active listening important?” Well, active listeners have better career development, stronger personal relationships, and higher emotional intelligence.
Improving your listening skills can improve your communication skills. You will be a more confident person, better at building trust, and able to eliminate conflict.
We’ll share precisely why active listening is essential, how to improve your listening skills, and where to find the best communication skills training.
Understanding how to listen to others and respond effectively is a significant benefit in your career. From making better impressions to improving your quality of work, active listening is vital.
What is active listening?
Active listening is a form of effective communication. An active listener will pay attention to what someone has said. By entirely focusing on the speaker, they can understand their message clearly and respond articulately.
Actively listening and responding involves encouraging the speaker with nonverbal cues, such as head nods and facial expressions. Nonverbal cues show the speaker that you are listening attentively and make them a more effective speaker.
Active listening requires a conscious effort to listen and learn from what the speaker is trying to say. All professions practice active listening, particularly those that demand trusts, such as teaching or health care.
Everyone’s listening abilities differ, and some are born naturally talented communicators. However, all of us can learn how to become active listeners, and becoming better listeners makes us better communicators.
To improve your listening skills, the next time you speak to someone, make sure to focus on what they’re saying. It is all too easy to let our minds wander. However, if you give someone your full attention, they are likely to reciprocate, and you will both get more out of the conversation.
You can also sign up for an active listening training course to learn the best techniques. The opposite of active listening is passive listening.
What is the difference between active and passive listening?
There are two types of listening. Passive listening is the practice of hearing what the speaker is saying without adequately paying attention.
We are guilty of passive listening. We often have other matters to think about in our busy lives, and it can be hard to give our full attention to what another person is saying.
Passive listening does not make you an effective listener, and you cannot wholly comprehend what the speaker is trying to convey, which might lead to miscommunications and conflict.
A passive listener does not respond, either verbally or with nonverbal cues. While you might be paying attention to the speaker, a lack of reactions will make the conversation one-sided. Passive listening can be little more than hearing.
Often, people can tell when you are only passively listening. It can be considered rude or lazy. If you are in a job interview or the workplace, it can make a wrong impression.
Why is active listening important?
You might still be wondering, “why is active listening important?” Well, active listening matters in every aspect of your life.
Becoming an active listener will help you improve your career prospects and personal relationships. If you understand the importance of active listening, you will find it easier to practice and improve.
If you want to improve your trustworthiness, active listening can persuade people to rely on you. Building trust is vital for any relationship.
Whether it is at home or work, taking the time to pay attention to people will help them trust you. Your responses will seem more honest as you will fully understand what the other person is saying.
Building trust is an excellent way to become an empathetic listener. Reserve judgment, respond honestly, and give thoughtful consideration to what the speaker says will help build trust.
You can gain trust through active listening by using nonverbal communication. We respond to facial expressions by making meaningful connections.
2. Eliminate conflict
Mindful listening when a person speaks helps eliminate conflict, and minor misunderstandings can create unnecessary conflict. Not only does this dampen relationships with friends and coworkers, but it wastes time.
Rarely do two people intend to engage in conflict. Paying attention to what someone has said can help you respond in a more constructive and supportive way. Therefore, even if they are not actively listening, your careful response should negate misunderstanding and conflict.
Active listening can help your productivity and problem-solving. In the workplace, many issues may arise. Whether you are a manager leading a team or an employee, knowing that you have listened to will decrease issues properly.
You will quickly spot problems, provide feedback, and effective communication can help solve them faster.
4. Increase knowledge
Paying attention to what someone says can be a learning experience. Fully understanding and absorbing the speaker will provide you with the critical information you otherwise may have missed.
Active listening helps you retain information. Not only will you be more likely to hear new knowledge, but be able to preserve it.
5. Career development
Your career development relies on your active listening skills. Building trust, eliminating conflict, problem-solving, and increasing your knowledge will all benefit your workplace success.
Active listening is an interpersonal communication soft skill that looks good on a cover letter or a job interview. Active listening is one of the most important skills employers look for in a potential employee.
If you are job searching, make sure to start improving your listening skills. In a job interview, demonstrating that you are actively engaged in the conversation will impress them.
Make sure you listen to understand, don’t listen to respond. Active listening is vital in all career paths, and career coaches often stress it as one of the crucial leadership skills.
Beyond your application and interview, active listening will benefit you throughout your working life. From a better relationship with your colleagues to improved productivity, learning active listening will help your career development.
6. Personal relationships
As in the workplace, active listening can make a better home life. Improving your social skills can help you improve your relationships and benefit stress management.
You might be trying to communicate with friends and family on a phone call. Or building rapport with a neighbor, practicing listening skills can make it easier to create and maintain relationships.
Better friendships and relations with family can improve your mental wellbeing. In turn, this feeds into your work life, and you will be better able to concentrate on the job knowing your home life stays at home.
Improving your active listening skills can be an all-around life changer. You will be more respected and appreciated by demonstrating effective and committed communication.
How to be an active listener?
You can develop your active listening by practicing respect and understanding in all forms of communication.
Listen to understand the speaker. Listening to respond will often mean you miss the majority of the conversation. Trying to understand will provide you with a better, more meaningful response than trying to work out what to say.
Use verbal affirmations to encourage the speaker to continue. Make sure your responses are relevant and constructive to the conversation. Providing feedback will encourage the speaker to expand and show that you are paying attention.
Nonverbal cues and facial expressions are another way to demonstrate your attention. Showing the correct expressions and physical gestures can prove your commitment to the conversation without interrupting the flow. You will find that if you are engaging in active listening, nonverbal cues will come naturally.
Demonstrate concern to the other speaker. If someone says something negative, phrase your response to show your understanding and sympathy. For example, if a colleague complains about a work process, lead your reply with “I understand your position…”. Follow this with a constructive solution.
Showing your concern will make the other person feel validated and appreciated. In return, they will demonstrate their concern when an issue arises for you.
Active listening is an emotional learning process. Committing to paying attention to what everyone says can make you a more profound and empathetic person.
Take a training program to learn how to listen actively and engage these steps in your daily conversations. An online active listening course will equip you with the skills you need to develop your communication.
What are the 3 a's of active listening?
Active listening uses the three "A's," a standard communication method that uses attention, attitude, and adjustment strategies.
Paying attention to what anyone else has to say is essential. Total focus on a conversation can improve the flow.
We all struggle to maintain our attention, and we are distracted by other thoughts too quickly. Practicing meditation or engaging in puzzles can help you stop your attention from wandering.
Approaching a conversation with the right attitude is vital for effective communication. Maintaining a positive, friendly, and respectful attitude will help us look beyond judgments and biases.
Adjust your position and responses throughout the conversation. No matter how well you are listening, don’t follow a script of polite engagements.
Modify your answers and feedback depending on the speaker’s attitude.
If you keep an open mind rather than daydream when the conversation turns challenging or dull, you will become a better listener.
What are some active listening examples?
Some examples of active listening might include body language and empathetic listening.
Beyond the verbal and nonverbal cues already discussed, body language is vital. An open posture with expressive hand gestures can add a lot to a conversation.
You will know from experience that it is hard to talk to someone who is closed down. Slumped shoulders, crossed arms, and a bowed head all suggest you are not paying attention.
Similarly, if you raise your head and maintain eye contact, it is easier to focus. A person’s eyes are very expressive, and you will pick up a lot of cues from maintaining eye contact.
Use open-ended questions to keep a conversation flowing. If you ask someone whether it will rain, you limit their answers to “yes” or “no.” Whereas asking someone what the weather is like allows a broader response and prompts a conversation.
Active listener training will help you develop listening communication skills. You will learn techniques to improve your conversation tactics and become a better listener.
How to practice active listening?
You can practice active listening in every conversation you have. Next time you talk to someone, make an effort to focus on what someone is saying entirely. Practice your nonverbal cues, relevant responses, and open-ended questions to improve your active listening skills.
If you want to learn active listening techniques beyond this, then take training courses. Courses for Success offer an Active Listening Online Certification Course. The course content covers body language, demonstrating empathy, and building connections.
Through the course, you will receive 24/7 access to the skills training and gain a certificate of completion. Taking an online course in active listening will look good on your resume, and it will prove to potential employers your commitment to communication.
Why Courses for Success?
Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression. Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.
You don’t need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. From our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, every course we offer will help boost your prospects, no matter who you are.
Beyond just the education itself, students will be issued a certificate online after completing each of the learning courses they do. Our online active listening courses are no exception and are recognized by industry leaders. You could make a name for yourself by signing up for a Courses for Success short course today.