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How To Be An Active Listener?

Listening and hearing are two different things, hearing is the physical activity done by our sense while listening is the ability in itself. Communicating is one of the necessities of life and we cannot be among good communicators if we are not good at listening.

How To Be An Active Listener

When a person is putting his thoughts in front of us, it is important for us to learn how to listen to him. A good listener can also effectively solve problems, understands, builds and maintains relationships, resolves conflicts and improves accuracy.

In this article, we will describe how you can be a good listener, so if you are interested to learn, read the article till the end.

Pay Attention

Pay Attention

Paying attention while someone is talking to you is the best thing you can do in order to be a good listener. Remove all kind of noses and distractions in the surroundings and try to understand what the person is saying.

Focus on the speech pattern and the accent of the person as this can help you lock in better to understand other person’s point also keep your feelings dead in the water to pay attention to what the person is saying.

Make Eye Contact

Eye Contact

According to experts, eye contact is the most important element for the effective communication. If you will keep scanning the room, look outside the window, tap your fingers on your phone, the other person will feel as if you are not listening to him.

While someone is talking to you, put aside everything you have, turn your face towards him, and make eye contact, look straight into his/her eyes even if the other person is not looking at you. The other person may not look directly at you because he may be shy but you must look at him to give a message that you are listening to him.

Do Not Interrupt

Do Not Interrupt

During childhood, it was taught to us that we should not interrupt someone while he is speaking. But as we grow up we forget this etiquette. This is because there are a number of talk shows on TV where the participants speak over each other aggressively to win an argument.

Similarly, when we interrupt someone we believe that our opinion is more important than other person’s opinion and we have something some accurate, interesting and relevant to say. Instead of considering it as a conversation we take it as a contest to win. So to be a good listener you have to avoid this habit at any cost.

Don’t Enforce Suggestions And Solutions

Don’t Enforce Suggestions And Solutions

God has blessed every person with different speaking and thinking rate. If you are fast at thinking process, you should try to slow down your pace because the other person may have a hard time to express his feelings.

While he is sharing his problems, do not be fast enough to jump in with a perfect solution. Probably, he may not need any help.

He may be able to figure out his own solution and you can help the person just by listening to him. If your mind is really brimming with an excellent suggestion, you must first offer it by gently asking “May I say something?”

Don’t Vanish Another’s Thought

Don’t Vanish Another's Thought

Many times, in order to be a good listener, we make many mistakes. For instance, we may feel that the person is talking too slowly or hesitating so we try to speed up the pace by finishing off the sentences. This thing can send the person way off the base.

Try To Visualize

Try To Visualize

Listen to what the other person is trying to say to you and try to visualize the situation in your mind. Only a focused and fully alert brain can automatically work properly to make a visual presentation of the given information.

Note: It is also important to remember that while you are listening, do not keep planning on what you will say to him next. This is because you cannot rehearse and listen at the same time.

Focus only on what the other person is saying to you even if the conversation seems boring and if your mind starts wandering force it immediately to focus back.

Don’t Change The Topic

Don’t Change The Topic

While your friend is excited to tell you about her/his Pakistani wedding experience, you jump in with a question on Pakistani Prime Minister and his new policies and implications.

This question easily leads to a description of Pakistani democracy.  The whole conversation shifts to Pakistan and the wedding experience of your friend becomes a distant memory before you even know it.

Your question can change the entire topic so avoid such habit of changing the conversation. If such questions lurk in your mind, keep it for some other time or ask it when the conversation is over.

Empathize With The Other Person


The key to active listening is empathy as the conversation and the relationship we have becomes stronger with it. Sadness, fear or joy whatever emotion the speaker is expressing, try to convey the similar expression through your face.

You need to take yourself in the person’s situation in order to feel what it will be like if you were at the moment, but it is not an easy task. It requires energy and concentration.  Empathizing with your speaker is a generous thing to do and it takes your communication to a new level.

Note: Once you listen to someone better and understand what he wants to say then you will be able to give great suggestion and advice instead of creating a mess. If you have more tips to be an active listener, you can share with us in the comments section, we will be looking forward to hearing from you.

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