Chapter overview



How to listen effectively

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How to listen effectively

​​In a nutshell

Being able to listen is a very important communication skill. And being a good listener is much more than being quiet when someone is speaking. In this summary, you will learn how to listen and respond accordingly. 

How to listen

When someone is talking with you or in a group, it's important to listen so that when the time comes you can respond. Here are some tips to take into consideration:

  • Don't interrupt. The other person can lose their focus and lose their thought;
  • "Listen" to the body language: facial expressions and tone of voice can change an argument;
  • Don't jump to conclusions;
  • Show that you are listening: head nods and a smile can go a long way;
  • Stay focused;
  • Ask questions. Asking questions shows that you are interested and were actually listening to what the other person was saying;
  • Don't belittle other people's opinions;
  • Paraphrase and summarise. Repeating what the other person has said shows that you were listening carefully.


How to respond to what you were listening

After listening to someone and in order to maintain a conversation, it's important that both parties talk and express their feelings and opinions about the topic of choice.


To respond to someone, here are some examples of appropriate phrases to use:

  • I agree with the point your making, and I'd like to add...
  • That's an interesting point, however I feel that...
  • I can see why you believe that, but I feel...
  • On the other hand, it is also possible that...
  • It sounds like you're saying...

Want to find out more? Check out these other lessons!

Tips for group discussions

How to debate effectively

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  • Question: After listening to someone what is the correct way to respond?

    Answer: After listening to someone it's important that both parties talk and express their feelings and opinions about the topic of choice. You can say: "I agree with the point you're making, and I'd like to add..." or "That's an interesting point, however I feel that...".

  • Question: When someone is talking what is the correct way to act?

    Answer: In order to listen effectively, there are some things to take into consideration: don't interrupt the person talking, listen to their body language, don't jump to conclusions, show that you are listening (maybe some head nods and a smile), ask questions, don't belittle their opinion and paraphrase or summarise what the other person said. All of these tips show that you were listening carefully.



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