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Listening Is Key

What is Active Listening?

Active Listening is one of the most important communication skills that involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding to, and remembering what is being said. It involves a deeper level of engagement and empathy. Active listening helps to build trust, foster better relationships, and enhance overall team communication and collaboration.

Here are three evidence-based methods to enhance active listening in one-on-one conversations with individual team members.

Reflective Listening


Reflective listening involves paraphrasing or summarizing what the speaker has said to ensure understanding.


Leader: After the team member speaks, the leader responds with a summary or paraphrase of the key points.

  • Example: “It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated with the current project deadlines and believe we might need to reconsider the timeline. Is that correct?”

Clarifying and Confirming

Clarifying and confirming involve seeking clarification on unclear points and confirming understanding to avoid misunderstandings.

Leader: Throughout the conversation, the leader periodically asks for clarification on specific points or summarizes to ensure accuracy.

  • Example: “I want to make sure I understand your concerns correctly. Are you saying that the main issue is the lack of communication within the team regarding project updates?”

Empathetic Listening

Empathetic listening involves not only understanding the words spoken but also grasping the emotions and feelings behind the message.

Demonstrates empathy by acknowledging the team member’s emotions and expressing understanding.

  • Example: “I can sense that this situation is causing you stress, and I appreciate your dedication to finding a solution. How can I support you in managing this challenge?”

These methods are grounded in evidence-based communication strategies and contribute to creating a positive and open communication environment within a team. Incorporating these active listening techniques can lead to improved relationships, increased employee satisfaction, and enhanced problem-solving within the team. 

Sources: (07.02.2024) 


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