What is active listening?

Active listening is a communication technique that is used in counselling, training and conflict resolution. It requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said. Active listening also involves the listener observing the speaker's behaviour and body language. 

Having the ability to interpret a person's body language lets the listener develop a more accurate understanding of the speaker's message. This is opposed to reflective listening where the listener repeats back to the speaker what they have just heard to confirm understanding of both parties. It is important to note that the listener is not necessarily agreeing with the speaker—simply stating what was said.

For more information on the work of Healthwatch Essex visit www.healthwatchessex.org.uk and check out the Lived Experience training course.

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