what is active listening?

Sometimes, personal broadcasting replaces the art of conversation, silence becomes scarce and we forget to listen.⁠⠀

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Have you ever “listened” to someone, only to realise you were planning your response the entire time? Or worse, you were planning what you're going to have for lunch?


Active listening is a conscious skill that we can all practice to enable us to make better connections with others.⁠ It is the ability to focus completely on what someone is saying, understand their message, comprehend the info and respond thoughtfully. Unlike passive listening, which is the act of hearing someone say something without retaining their message.


It is listening attentively while someone else speaks.

It is paraphrasing and reflecting back what’s said.

It is withholding judgement and advice.

It is making the person feel heard and valued.

It is the foundation to a successful conversation.

It is being patient, periods of silence don’t always need to be “filled”


L = listen to what's said and how it's said

I = interpret non-verbal messages

S = show you are being attentive

T = try to understand, not just hear

E = evaluate and summarise the message

N = neutralise your feelings


Next time when you feel yourself starting to drift off, remember these queues to make sure you do your bit in bringing value to the conversation 🧠