University Life Café

The Bookshelf → Reflective Listening

Preview Points

  • Reflective listening helps engage others in relationship building, creating trust, and fostering motivation. It takes skill to do it well.
  • Listening breakdowns occur in three places: The speaker does not say what is meant. The listener does not hear correctly. The listener gives a different interpretation to what the words mean.



  1. Repeating or rephrasing—The listener repeats what is said or paraphrases what was said, staying close to what the speaker has said
  2. Paraphrasing—The listener makes a big restatement.
  3. Reflection of feeling—The listener emphasizes the emotional aspect of communication.


Focus on feeling words.
What is the context of the message?
Observe body language.
Develop empathy by asking oneself: “If I were having that experience, what would I be feeling?”
Validate the individual’s thoughts and feelings.

Concluding Points

  • Reflective listening enhances a person’s ability to connect with others.
  • Reflective listening requires a fair amount of skill and practice.

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