What are your listening habits? Take a few minutes to rate yourself. Read each statement below. Answer YES if it is true for you most of the time. Answer NO if it is not true for you most of the time.
- I allow the other person to finish what s/he is saying before I speak.
- I pay attention even when I don’t like the speaker.
- I easily ignore distractions when I am listening.
- I can easily remember what other people say to me.
- I ask the speaker questions when I don’t understand something.
- I look at people when they are talking to me.
- I don’t do other things when I am listening.
- I keep listening even when the message is too complicated.
I ignore behavior or appearances that bother me and listen to what the speaker is saying.
Your YES answers show the active listening skills that you already have. In other words, how and where you are involved in the communication process in taking responsibility for understanding the other person’s message.
Your NO answers indicate areas in active or reflective listening where you need development. With practice, you can improve these skills. Next time you are communicating with someone, you should focus on these behaviors, in particular, noting any improvement.
Now, evaluate your reflective listening skills further with an evaluation sheet. After a planned or unplanned communication session with your partner, family member or friend, take some time to evaluate your performance. Go over each item of the evaluation, making sure that you understand each term. Concentrate on the areas that need development and give thought how you can apply it in the future. Practice those specifically whenever you have another conversation.
Download and print the evaluation sheet here: Reflective Listening Evaluation Form
Next, we move on to the skill of motivational communication.