University Life Café

The Bookshelf → Developing Listening Skills

Preview Points

  • “Active listening” refers to a focused aspect of good communications for the accurate decoding of messages.
  • Messages usually contain a “feeling” and a “fact” part, and both need to be understood for proper decoding.
  • Active listening conveys the message of listener interest.


Active listening enables the other side to fully communicate his / her message, without “noise” or extraneous information that may distort the message.


  1. Prepare for the discussion.
  2. Slow down.
  3. Use some encouragers to show that you’re listening. These may be short phrases like “um hmm,” “go on,” and others.
  4. Ask open-ended questions.
  5. Be clear about your own posture or stance.
  6. Reflect and clarify.
  7. Summarize.

Concluding Points

  • Active listening actually hears the others.
  • It is an engaged listening that brings both cognition and affect, the mind and emotion.
  • Active listening shows respect to others.

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