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Geosciences LibreTexts Active Listening Strategies

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    The following table includes examples of questions for active listening. These questions will help the other person articulate, elaborate on, and clarify their statements and to know that they have been heard, whether or not you happen to agree with them.

    Statements That Help The Other Person Talk
    Statement Purpose Do This Examples
    • To convey interest
    • To encourage the other person to keep talking
    • Don’t agree or disagree
    • Use neutral words
    • Use varying voice intonation

    “Can you tell me more?”


    • To help you clarify what is said
    • To get more information
    • To help the speaker see other points of view
    • Ask questions
    • Restate wrong interpretation to force speaker to explain further

    “When did this happen?”


    • To show you are listening and understanding what is said
    • To check you meaning and interpretation
    • Restate basic ideas, facts

    “So you would like for your parents to trust you more. Is that right?”


    • To show that you understand how the person feels
    • To help the person evaluate his/her own feelings after hearing them expressed by someone else
    • Reflect the speaker’s basic feelings

    “You seem very upset.”


    • To review progress
    • To pull important ideas, facts and feelings together
    • To establish a basis for further discussion
    • Restate major ideas expressed, including feelings

    “These seem to be the key ideas you have expressed…”


    • To acknowledge the worthiness of the other person
    • Acknowledge the value of their issues and feelings
    • Show appreciation for their efforts and actions

    “I appreciate your willingness to resolve this matter.”

    Credit: Ann K. Hennings, WSU Area Extension Coordinator, Washington State University, Lincoln/Adams County Extension. Permission to use obtained from Judy Saul, Kittitas Co.

    This page titled Active Listening Strategies is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Marcellus Matters (John A. Dutton: e-Education Institute) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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