Active Listening


One of the strongest skills we should prioritize to develop is active listening. It means to listen at the right level in a conversation.

Coaches use active listening as a powerful tool for communication and the fact is that we all can do the same as well.

There are three different levels of listening:

First level: We listen with the intention to answer
When we listen at this level, we do it based on ourselves. We quickly come up with our own examples of when we did the same, come up with tips and advice on how to solve the situation.

Second Level: We listen with the intention to understand
We are genuinely captivated by the other person's story and want to know more. We are not the focus anymore because we are open-minded in our listening. We ask questions that make the other person reflect and engage to tell more.

Third Level: We listen with all our senses

We understand the context of the story, read, and feel the other person´s moods, emotions, body language and tone of voice. Then, we quickly reflect about what we hear, see and experience to ask questions about this.

True active listening happens when we use the second and third level.

Three tips on how to enhance Active Listening:

  • Ask powerful but short open questions that engages the other person to tell more.
  • Be patient and do not stress to interrupt even though the person takes a pause. This is the moment we need to use our emotional and intuitive mind to let the other person reflect.
  • Use your gut feeling and "read between the lines". Ask for example something you perceive (3rd level): “You sound worried. Is there something that worries you?” If the assumption is wrong, change direction. If it is right, the person will feel seen.