What is Active Listening?
Hearing and listening are active senses. Hearing happens all the time and constantly receives sound vibrations and waves through our ears. Whereas, listening requires us to use the senses of hearing, seeing, or sense of touch. Unlike hearing, we practically don’t use much of our awareness and consciousness on hearing. Listening is a skill that requires letting the sound go through your brain, understanding what has been heard, and processing its meaning.
To learn how to develop active listening, we need to put more awareness and position ourselves to receive the messages. For those who are experiencing hearing loss, communication can become a challenge. In this article, we will be listing down a number of active listening strategies that you can use to receive information better. These strategies won’t replace hearing aids, but should be used in conjunction with them to make your communication as effective as possible.
The 3 A’s of Active Listening
Put your focus on finding meaning in what you hear. Imagine listening as you pay attention to learn. Concentrate not just on words spoken but also the non-verbal cues such as facial expression, hand gestures, emotions and body movements.
Always maintain your cheerfulness in the process. Having a positive attitude makes a big difference in communication. Listening gets easier too when you as the listener is able to listen with an open mind.
Always be present. Adjust yourself with the flow as the conversation goes. Stop assuming what the speaker will say but ask who/what/where/when/how questions that pertain what he or she is talking about.
SoundLife Hearing Guides to Active Listening
Below are the active listening strategies for people with hearing loss:
- Look at the person who is speaking.
- Sit with the better ear towards the speaker to get clearer sounds.
- Wear glasses if you have to. Better vision helps speech read.
- Sit or position yourself nearer to the speaker.
- Concentrate on the thoughts or ideas the speaker is expressing.
- Focus on the body language and non-verbal cues.
- Accept that different people have their very own way of expressing themselves.
- Do not be afraid to keep eye contact.
- Don’t nod if you do not understand the messages, ask questions if you need to.
- Tell the speaker to repeat what you’ve missed in the conversation .
- Ask specific questions on what you do not understand.
- Do not be shy or afraid to tell those around you what they can do to make communication easier.
- Resist distractions
- Take the conversations in a bright room.
- Avoid loud places.
- When attending lectures or speech, request that speakers use microphones or FM systems.
- Relax and enjoy the conversation.
Here at SoundLife Hearing, we are focused not only on helping you hear better, we help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about your hearing, contact us today and schedule an appointment.