Active Listening. What Is It?

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Active Listening
Active listening is one of the most rewarding skill sets that I have learned from the lesson because it has really contributed to my personal growth and my professional lives. Active listening skills refer to the skill of being fully present when you are in a conversation with someone.  Very often when we are in a conversation, we are not paying any attention to what the person is saying. We are just waiting for our turn to talk. We are actually having a conversation in our own heads while the person is talking to us. It is when we are not “present” in a conversation. Before I realized the importance of active listening, the most important thing in a conversation was that people understood what I was trying to share with them. Meaning that my perspective was the most important thing in a conversation and that they had to understand me.  And what I learned over the lesson, was that the best way to nurture a relationship was actually to stop caring about people understanding my point.  This lesson reminds me that each of us had different experiences, we grow up with different believes, different values, different rules. And how we think and how we view everything that goes on around us are always filtered based on the environment we grew up. Throughout the lesson, I had many opportunities to practice my active listening skills by actively participating in the class discussions.  After completed the lesson, I would not say I am an excellent listener, but I definitely feel that I am a better listener. I find myself paying more attention to the speaker and interpreting his/her non-verbal cues, showing that I am listening by probing and providing feedback and clarifying by asking questions.  By listen closely, I am able to gain more information about what the person is sharing and to find things that peak my interest.  When the person is done with the sharing, I will ask them about what that peaked my interest and let the person respond. By doing so,...
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