1. What distinguishes listening from hearing?
Hearing is something most everyone does without even trying and unintentional whereas listening requires you to pay conscious attention. We regularly engage in several different types of listening; appreciative listening, relational listening, empathetic or therapeutic listening, informational listening.
2. What are some benefits for you personally from effective listening?
If listening is done well, the communication loop is effectively completed between speaker and receiver. When done successfully, both feel connected. The active listener is more likely to be better liked, in turn increasing her self-esteem. She is also likely to be better able to reduce tension in situations and resolve conflict. Truly listening to the words of a speaker is sure to make a positive difference in your interactions.
6. How can you communicate non-verbally that you are listening?
Boothman recommends listening with your whole body, not just your ears. A listener sitting up straight, facing you with an intent look on his face is more likely to offer reassurance that your words are being understood. Eye contact is another nonverbal cue to the speaker that you are paying attention. Nodding your head affirmatively, making back channel responses such as “Yes”, “ Umhum”, or “OK” can help the speaker gauge your interest.