Listening is one of the first skills we need to develop. In everyday conversations we are often only ‘half listening’ to what someone is saying, as we are either already preparing a response before they’ve finished or we’re distracted with other things.

Question: So what is active listening?

Select here for the answer.

Worried looking staff member listening to a concerned student

Listening is one of the first skills we need to develop. In everyday conversations we are often only ‘half listening’ to what someone is saying, as we are either already preparing a response before they’ve finished or we’re distracted with other things.

Question: So what is active listening?

Answer: Active listening is a way to be totally involved in the concern of another person in order to help them form a clearer awareness of his or her situation and for them to feel understood.

We will all bring our pre-judgements and experiences to helping others. What we can do however, is to put them aside - sometimes called ‘bracketing’ our own thoughts/feelings - to help us listen to others effectively.

Worried looking staff member listening to a concerned student