Ten Ways to Listen Well as Part of Communicating Effectively

By Marty Brounstein

Part of Communicating Effectively For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Communicating effectively involves not only speaking well, but listening well, too. Active-listening tools, such as those in the following list, help you hold up your end of a successful conversation or discussion.

  • Concentrate on what the speaker has to say.

  • Listen for content and emotion to understand the entire message.

  • Maintain steady eye contact so speakers know your attention is with them.

  • Reflect back with verbal feedback to confirm your understanding of the message.

  • Stay patient when people talk to you.

  • Keep your tone sincere and nonjudgmental when you listen.

  • When you give feedback to check understanding, do so in one sentence.

  • Tune into how the message is being said, not just what the words are.

  • Acknowledge feelings that are important to the message you’re hearing.

  • Make your goal in conversations to show understanding of what the speaker truly means.