Communication and Active Listening

August 4th 2023

2 minutes read

Communication and Active Listening
Written by LiveLink
August 4th 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Communication and Active Listening

Everyone knows the importance of communication when talking to your clients, patients and team.

But have you considered Active Listening?

What is Active Listening?  It’s just listening right?

Well, yes and no.  Yes it’s listening, but it’s listening intently and absorbing all the information.  The definition is:

Active Listening is the practice of preparing to listen, observing what verbal and non-verbal messages are being sent.  Providing appropriate feedback for the sake of showing attentiveness to the message being presented.  Listening on purpose.

Well, that’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it.  When we listen to people, we often listen whilst formulating our response and that potentially means missing some of the context and content of the conversation.

Speaking to literally hundreds of people every day, active listening is a skill that we have to learn.  Particularly if we know there’s another call waiting and it takes intense effort to concentrate on the caller that’s on the line.  It’s that absorption in the call that makes the difference to the caller as they can ‘feel’ it even when they can’t physically see us.

When you are fully absorped in a conversation, this transforms your relationships and it makes the other person feel good.  And who doesn’t want to feel good?

So what are the signs that someone is fully engaged?  These may sound obvious and are much easier to do when you are face to face.

  • Smiling (although you can ‘hear’ a smile on the phone)
  • Eye Contact
  • Open posture
  • Your physically face the person you are talking to
  • Occasional nods/head tilts to acknowledge that you are listening

Listening intently may feel awkward at first, but it will quickly become a habit.

On a phone call of course, the person cannot see you so it is slightly different.

  • Smile!
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Don’t assume
  • Ask relevant questions
  • Add in some yes/mmm as affirmations
  • Repeat the information back to the caller
  • Use their name (not like a crazy person though every sentence)
  • Listen for emotion and acknowledge that emotion (that one takes some practice)

So get practicing!


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