A. "Take These 13 Actionable Steps to Become a Better Active Listener" (post) "explain[s] some actionable steps [instructors] can take to improve their active listening abilities, both in and out of the [classroom]."
1. "[A]ctive listening ... is truly hearing, processing and addressing what another person is telling you."
- It "can change how your [class] sees you as well as help you to learn from their viewpoints."
2. See also
B. 13 Strategies
1. "Build Micro-Habits That Support Being Present"
- "[P]u[t] your phone away."
- "[M]ak[e] eye contact."
- "[M]ak[e] the conversation about the other person and not you by asking 'why' questions."
- "[H]ol[d] space for them to talk."
- "[Be] curious about what is being signaled but not spoken in the communication."
2. "Take A Breath"
- "[T]ak[e] one long breath prior to responding ... [to] shift your answer and convey to your speaker that you were listening to them rather than preparing your response instead."
- "The long breath will also allow just a small pause to consider what you say before you speak."
3. "Ask Two Follow-Up Questions Before Adding Your Thoughts"
- "This practice takes you out of autopilot and requires paying attention in order to formulate relevant questions and reply in a meaningful way."
4. "Use Simple Body Language"
- "[A] head nod or 'uh-huh' and eye contact will encourage the other person to continue speaking and show you are listening."
- "Ask questions for clarification and then recap what you heard by paraphrasing to show that you understand what’s being said."
- "[I]t doesn’t mean you are agreeing, but that you are actively listening."
- "[B]e able to hit pause completely on anything at any time."
- "This ... clear[s] our heads and hearts and [let's us] be fully present and ready to listen to others."
6. "Give Your Audience Your Entire Attention"
- "[L]isten without judging them or developing a response before they are finished speaking."
- "Pay attention to body language as well as the words that are being spoken."
- "Turn to face the speaker and make eye contact."
7. "Practice Curiosity, Compassion, And The Suspension Of Judgment"
- "[P]ractice a 'them' orientation."
- "[U]nderstand others’ viewpoints and perspectives ... stop being critically judgmental and become compassionately curious."
8. "Connect Your Conversations To Previous Ones"
- "Start conversations by asking a question about something discussed previously."
- "This ... sends a message that you were invested in the former conversation and thought it meaningful enough to follow up."
9. "Practice Appreciation And Acceptance"
- "People ... feel heard when they know you appreciate and accept their point of view."
- "That doesn't mean you have to agree with it."
10. "Become A Parrot"
- "[P]eople want to know that they've been understood from their perspective."
- "[S]ay, 'Okay, let me know if I understood correctly. I believe you said X, Y, Z. Is that correct?'"
11. "Focus On The Four Whats"
- "What is important to this person?"
- "What is something I would like more clarity around?"
- "What does this person need?"
- "What is our mutual goal here?"
12. "Be Self-Aware And Adjust As Needed"
- "Are you forming your response, thinking of something else, distracted by surroundings?"
- "[C]lea[r] your mind when you listen, listen beyond the spoken word for inflection, tone, breath, pace, emotion."
13. "W.A.I.T." ("Why Am I Talking?")
- "[F]ocus on listening to learn and to understand."
- Talk "when you want to ask a question or seek deeper understanding. Otherwise, W.A.I.T!"