Basic Listening Skills: Introduction, Self-Awareness, Active Listening, Becoming an Active Listener, Listening in Difficult Situations : Pharmaguideline

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Basic Listening Skills: Introduction, Self-Awareness, Active Listening, Becoming an Active Listener, Listening in Difficult Situations

A person who is able to listen and understand is capable of accurately understanding and interpreting communication.


A person who is able to listen and understand is capable of accurately understanding and interpreting communication. Listening is the foundation of effective communication. If you are incapable of listening effectively, you will often misunderstand a message. Listening effectively is crucial to developing successful relationships. Information and ideas are acquired through active listening. During listening, it is important that the listener understands and responds. As well as receiving and understanding what has been said, listening also involves responding to what has been said.

A skill we can all learn is how to listen effectively. The ability to listen contributes to our feelings of well-being and improves our relationships to a great extent. A person who has learned to listen deeply will also be able to become a catalyst for change. Despite this, listening is one of the most challenging skills to learn. It is a difficult skill to master.


Healthy communication is possible when one has self-awareness and can listen without making assumptions or judgments. We must learn how to listen deeply to ourselves before we can listen deeply to others. We are more likely to understand the perspectives of others when we have a sense of our own self-awareness. A deep listening practice can be transformative, but transformation begins with self-awareness, in other words, with the capacity to listen to our inner voices.

Understanding one's own personality, thoughts, feelings, and eventual behaviors are the key to self-awareness. Understanding how you impact other people allows you to better understand how they perceive you and how you respond to them in a way that ensures their voice is included in the conversation.

Your employees and customers will be happier, more satisfied, and your business will be more efficient if you communicate clearly and confidently. There is, however, a significant amount of miscommunication and misunderstanding for verbal, written, or non-verbal communications.

Active listening

Employers and non-employees alike can benefit from communication skills. If you have the ability to clearly communicate ideas, instructions, and concepts, you will be successful in any career. Practice is necessary for developing communication skills. Listening effectively is essential to effective communication. Building and maintaining relationships, solving problems, improving processes, and retaining information such as instructions, procedures, and expectations will be easier if you develop this soft skill.

An active listener is completely focused on a speaker, comprehending their message, responding thoughtfully, and understanding the information they are sharing. This interpersonal communication skill is highly valued because, unlike passive listening, which is an act of hearing someone but not retaining what they say, active listening allows you to engage and later recall specific details without needing repetition. The active listener displays and maintains attention on the speaker through verbal and non-verbal techniques. The speaker will be able to see that you are focused and engaged since you are supporting their ability to focus. An active listener does not think about and mentally rehearse what to say after the speaker is finished. He or she instead listens to the speaker and tries to learn what he or she says.

Becoming an active listener

You can become an effective listener by using five key active listening techniques:

1. Pay attention

As the speaker speaks, pay undivided attention to what he or she is saying. Not only does non-verbal communication "speak" loudly, but so does oral language as well.
  • Direct your attention to the speaker.
  • Distracting thoughts should be set aside.
  • Don't think of anything to say in response!
  • Keep your mind free of distractions. Take side conversations, for example.
  • Observe the speaker's body language to get a sense of what they are saying.

2. Take the conversation seriously.

You should be demonstrating engagement in the conversation through your body language and gestures.
  • The nod from time to time.
  • Smiling or using other facial expressions is acceptable.
  • Maintain an open, interested posture.
  • Continue the discussion with responses such as 'yes,' and 'uh huh.'

3. Provide feedback

What we hear can be distorted by our assumptions, preconceptions, beliefs, and filters. What we hear can be distorted by our assumptions, preconceptions, beliefs, and filters. Therefore, you must pay attention to what is said and ask questions.
  • Analyze the information that has been given by paraphrasing. The statements "What I hear is...", "It seems as though you're saying...," and "It seems as though..." are excellent examples.
  • Ask for clarification if needed. What do you mean when you say... do you mean that?" "Maybe you mean this?"
  • Analyze the information that has been given by paraphrasing.

4. Defer judgment

  • Time is wasted when you interrupt. The speaker will be annoyed, and the message will not be fully understood.
  • Ask questions after the speaker has finished each point.
  • Avoid interrupting with counterarguments.

5. Respond appropriately

Respect and understanding are encouraged through active listening. By listening, you gain new perspectives and information. You can't add anything to the conversation by criticizing the speaker.
  • In your response, be open, honest, and candid.
  • Be respectful of others' views.
  • Be careful not to do anything that you would not want the other person to do.

Listening in difficult situations

Conversations with difficult people are not easy! Our own perceptions of the situation affect what others tell us, as well, as our emotions are running high at the moment. Understanding another person involves actively listening to them and understanding their perspective. A conversation takes place when you see the other person's idea, and when you confirm that you understood it correctly by offering your own idea to them. Pay attention to what other people say. Otherwise, you will not be active in listening! There is no other thought or rebuttal going through our minds. Our bodies provide clues as to how someone is feeling and what matters to them based on how we read their body language.

Listen to others during a difficult conversation by following these best practices:
  • Keep your eyes on the person with whom you are conversing and make meaningful eye contact
  • When speaking to a person, pay attention to their body language
  • Pose your body in an open and interested manner
  • Stay focused - stay away from distractions
  • Provide appropriate feedback to the individual speaking with you by nodding and acknowledging what they say
  • Consider reiterating and clarifying (paraphrasing) to guarantee to understand
  • Interrupting and finishing sentences for others is not acceptable.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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