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In order to be the best professional you can be, active listening is one of the most important interpersonal skills to master. You see, they show the other person in the conversation that you care about what’s being said. Get it right and it will boost your career progression significantly.

What are active listening skills?

What the term covers is the process of listening mindfully, whilst also observing non-verbal clues like body language. Active listening skills show anyone you’re talking to that you’re empathetic, completely focused and fully tuned into what they have to say.

How can I become an active listener?

As short courses online show us, the concept can be summed up in what’s known as the three A's of active listening, which breaks down in the following way…

  1. Attitude: this refers to your approach mentally, meaning that you should enter each conversation with an open and positive mindset. This should be the case, even if you’re not in agreement with the topic of conversation.
  2. Attention: this means that you should avoid distractions, so do everything you can to encourage this, like putting your phone down or putting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door. It’s all about giving the person you’re talking to your complete, undivided attention. 
  3. Adjustment: active listening skills also involve letting the conversation go where the other person wants it to, rather than trying to steer it your way. You’ll need to focus on doing so, as close attention needs to be paid to what’s actually being said.

The Measures You Can Take To Promote Active Listening 

As you’ll learn by taking Tafe courses on the subject, focusing on the Three A’s will provide the foundation for active listening. However, there are other, active listening measures that can complement your current interpersonal skills. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • Use Open Questions: By asking questions that can’t be answered with a yes or a no, you’ll encourage the person you’re speaking to, to elaborate. This will allow you to gather more information about how they’re feeling and their viewpoint on what’s being discussed.
  • Paraphrase to Confirm Understanding: A great way to illustrate the fact you’ve been listening is to repeat some or all of what’s been talked about by paraphrasing. By saying something like “So, what you’re telling me is…”, you remove all doubt as to whether you’ve listened.
  • Ask for clarification: If you don’t quite understand something that the other person has said, ask for some clarity. Not only will this show that your lack of understanding bothers you, but it also offers them a chance to reiterate and perhaps explain things more deeply.

Initially, it might seem like active listening is as easy as simply paying attention, but as we’ve seen, your approach, candour and body language also play a big part in any conversation. However, if you break each aspect down, you can work them individually or collectively over time.

Broaden Your Horizons With Online Training  From OCA

Your interpersonal skills play as big a part in your career progression as what you know, so it’s important to spend time working on them. Something else it’s important to work on is your professional knowledge, with the easiest, most convenient and mentally-stimulating way to do so being via video-based short courses from OCA.

Our entire library of courses is fully CPD-Endorsed and has been put together with the help of top experts from each of the 20 different industries they cover. To find out more about this, visit us today at, where you’ll see that every course also comes with dedicated round-the-clock support.

However, should you prefer to speak to us directly about your training needs, just call us on 1300 611 404, and we’ll do our very best to find the perfect solution that meets every one of them.

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