What Is Active Listening? - Techniques, Definition & Examples

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  • 0:05 Listening Versus…
  • 0:50 Active Listening Techniques
  • 1:30 Examples
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Manuela Heberle

Manuela has master's degree in counseling and has taught psychology, social psychology, and a tests and measurements course.

Have you ever felt that you had been heard but not understood? If so, chances are that the person you were talking with was not actively listening.This lesson defines active listening and provides specific techniques that can be used.

Listening vs. Active Listening

If you've ever talked with someone and walked away feeling like they didn't really understand the deeper nuances of what you were saying, or that they just didn't get it, then chances are that the other person was listening and heard you, but nothing more. When you have felt heard and understood, you will walk away feeling better, just knowing that someone cared.

Active listening goes beyond just listening. Active listening means being attentive to what someone else is saying. The goal of active listening is to understand the feelings and views of the person. In fact, active listening comes from the person-centered therapy of Carl Rogers. But, active listening is not only used in the therapeutic setting - it's an essential component of effective communication.

Active Listening Techniques

Within a therapeutic setting, it is essential for the therapist to understand the client's concerns, feelings, thoughts and perceptions accurately. It is also essential to convey respect and acceptance and to withhold judgment. Outside of the therapeutic setting, the same things are important. All people need to feel understood and accepted and to know that others care about them.

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