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Active Listening in Effective Communication

Listening is a skill that requires active, rather than passive, participation to advance shared understanding and minimise misinterpretation. Lang, Floyd and Beine (2000) describe active listening as a skill that ‘focuses on attending to patients’ clues, ie, utterances and/or behaviors that are not explicit but may have special meaning and suggest unshared ideas, concerns, and expectations’. This essay will discuss how active listening strategies such as analysing and displaying non-verbal body language, clarifying meaning and accuracy, expressing understanding for the speaker’s feelings through empathy and silence contribute to effective communication by encouraging the speaker to convey his or her thoughts, building trust and relationships and by minimising misinterpretation between sender and receiver…

 

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