Active Listening Checklist

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Ready to Perfect Your Listening?

Active listening isn’t hard, but it’s easy to forget the principles if you don’t take time to master them and remind yourself of them occasionally.

No matter who you’re listening to, strive to treat them to your full attention.

It’s one of the easiest ways you can cultivate respect, trust, happier employees and coworkers, and stronger engagement in your organization and at home.

Here’s how to get the most out of this checklist.

  1. Print it out!
  2. Focus on one section or tip each day. (It’s tough to actively work on 10+ tips at a time!)
  3. If you get distracted while listening to someone, notice what distracted you. After the conversation, consider if it’s possible to remove the distraction to improve your ability to connect when people speak to you.

Active Listening Checklist

Look

  • I face forward and make eye contact.
  • I sit straight or lean in.

Smile

  • I nod and smile.
  • I keep a clean, welcoming space for conversation.

Listen

  • I avoid distractions.
  • I visualize what the speaker is saying.
  • I focus on meaning, not style.
  • I listen rather than think about how to respond.

Respond

  • I always wait for a pause before speaking.
  • I paraphrase important points.
  • I ask questions to learn more.
  • I let the speaker know when I don’t understand.
  • I take notes when needed.

For more tips on listening effectively, check out our free article, “6 Tips to Improve Your Listening Habits.”

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Active Listening Checklist

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