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Effective Listening Skills (Hearing more than what's said)

Tips and best practices for effectively hearing what's being said. Effective listening enhances communication and can help resolve conflicts.


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Effective Listening Skills

Listening requires more than just hearing


Effective listening is an important life skill. It has value whether you are a team member, facilitator, parent, spouse, or friend. The ability to listen well to others, to not only hear but to understand, is an essential skill for entrepreneurs. Listening is also one of the most underrated and unappreciated leadership skills. It has the ability to build trust, respect and resolve conflicts. The following tips will help with your effective listening skills.

What is Effective Listening?

Effective listening skills are comprised of five elements. They are:

  1. Asking questions

  2. Expressing empathy

  3. Rephrasing or reflective listening

  4. Acknowledging, and

  5. Use of silence


Asking Questions

Different types of questions lead to different results. The skilled listener knows when to use different types of questions. There are two types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended questions.

Closed-ended questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Such as “do you live here?” “Are you interested in ….?” This type of question leaves little room to learn new information.

Open-ended questions require the other person to think and offer some of their own thoughts.


Open-Ended Question

An open-ended question normally begins with what, where, why or how.

  • How can I help you?

  • What seems to be the challenge?

  • What happened this morning?

  • Why are you upset?

  • Where were you when you heard?

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