At its heart, active listening also helps you understand the other person’s perspective fully and completely – which doesn’t necessarily mean taking on the other person’s perspective yourself. If you want to communicate to the other person that you’ve really listened and concentrated on the discussion, there are a few rules for behavior:
- “This is what I heard you say.”
From time to time you can repeat what you heard in your own words.
Asking clarification questions
- “What do you mean by that?"
- "What does this word/issue/phrase mean to you…?”
You ask whether you summarized correctly and discuss in more detail anything that might be unclear. You explain any vague and ambiguous terms.
- Nodding your head, saying “yeah” or “yes” can serve as good verbal confirmations to show that you’ve really listened.
- You can communicate this with facial expressions as well.