3 Steps to improve your Active Listening skills

Active Listening skills: Here at Caveman in a Suit, we like to try out new and different ways to help you learn and build your skills. So instead of our traditional articles, we have are experimenting with creating some mini-curriculum of videos, articles, and exercises that you can do to build a skill. Essentially, we are trying to transform what we do in classroom trainings into something you can experience at your own pace.

As this is our first mini-curriculum, we want to hear your feedback. What works and what doesn’t? With that being said, I hope you like the 3 Steps to improve your Active Listening Skills

Step 1 – Reflect on your current Active Listening skills

Reflect on the following questions based on the video, and write your answers in an email to yourself:

  • How often do you find yourself thinking about something else during meetings?
  • How often do you listen to prepare your response to the other person, as opposed to listening to understand the other person?
  • How do you think the other person feels? Can they tell you aren’t listening? Can you tell when other people aren’t listening to you?

Step 2 – Learn the 3 Actions to Actively Listen

Reflect on the following questions based on the video, and write your answers in an email to yourself:

  • Which action is something you think you already do well?
  • Which action is something you think you should improve?
  • Do you agree with the mindsets, or do you think you will struggle with the mindsets.

Step 3 – Practice the 3 Actions

In your next meeting, practice the following actions:

  • Ask 1 Engaging question – If you’ve only heard one person’s thoughts, ENGAGE another person in the meeting/on the call e.g. What’s your thinking on this? What are your ideas?
  • Ask 2 Clarifying questions – If you aren’t clear what is going on or the point someone is making – be curious and ask a question to CLARIFY e.g. What do you mean by…? Can you give me an example to illustrate what you mean by…?
  • Confirm your Understanding 1 time – To ensure you get someone else’s meaning  – CONFIRM YOUR UNDERSTANDING e.g. What I heard you say is…Is that right? Did I understand correctly when you said…?

After each time you practice, reflect on your performance by asking yourself these questions:

  • Did I walk out of that meeting truly understanding the ideas and perspectives of the other people?
  • What went well?
  • What could be improved further?

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