Active Listening

Next, we want to look at what does it actually mean to actively listen? So how do we actively listen? To ensure we are giving the patient what they need, we must actively listen to what their needs are and what concerns they may have. 

Active listening is a communication technique that requires the listener to fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what it is that is being said. This is opposed to reflective listening, where the listener repeats back to the patient what they have just heard to confirm understanding of both parties.

Active listening is a skill we can all continue to improve on and has a major impact on the quality of the relationship we are able to build with our patient. Research suggests that we only remember 25-50% of what we hear. Listening is a skill that we can all benefit from and by improving and by becoming a better listener, we can improve productivity and avoid conflict or misunderstanding. Key techniques in improving your active listening skills include: paying attention, showing that you're listening, providing feedback, deferring judgement, and responding appropriately.