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Importance of Active Listening for Life

Recently, I have held a conversation with a client who was complaining about the delay he has been subjected to in trying to obtain an environmental approval license for his prosed housing project. I was actively listening to the client by keeping myself engaged in the conversation positively. He stated that his company risked losing millions of dollars if the license issuance would be delayed for another one month. To get the context of this statement, I asked him if there would be any fines imposed on his company for the delay and how the license should help in offsetting this. This was a way of paraphrasing what he was saying to get clarity of the client’s reasoning. The client clarified that the project commencement schedule was set at the beginning of the following month and that any delays would attract increased interest rates from the funding source.

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I inquired further if the funding institution had strict deadlines and payment adherence protocols. The client answered in the affirmative to confirm that my second paraphrase was indeed accurate. From this conversation, it was clear that my listening to the client was active. This is not the same case as the conversation I had with my friends over a football match that was played during the previous weekend. In this conversation, all five of us were involved in shouting matches in favor of teams. Nobody was prepared to listen to the other’s point of view. However, when my child reported to be an accident that had happened in their school, I actively listened to obtain more information. His classmate had been hit by a reversing car, an incident that sent the whole school in panic (Doyle, 2020). By actively listening to him narrate the story, I managed to gather the actual state of events and counsel him from the traumatic experience.

A phone conversation I had with my colleague last week was all about active listening. Having been diagnosed with COVID-19, my colleague was forced to work from home. This means that much of her office work including handling her clients was transferred to me. Incidentally, I was not abreast with most of what she was doing and I had to rely on her direct instructions to wade through. I became an action-oriented listener and implemented all her instructions that were delivered through phone conversation.

I must nonetheless admit that my listening skills are not 100% perfect. Sometimes, my poor listening habits come to play when communicating with some people in certain circumstances. My most notorious habit is engaging in pseudo listening behavior. Here, though I appear to be attentive during conversations, the truth of the matter is that I allow my mind to wander away from the conversation. Therefore, communication in groups can spur different levels of listening (Communicating in Groups PDF, n.d). Most times it just comes automatically without any premeditations especially if the speaker is a boring type. I need to improve on this and embrace active listening habits for the effective delivery of human services. Active listening is indeed the best way to avoid this mistake. I intend to get more involved in listening by repeating back what I have heard from the speaker whenever a chance to respond presents itself (Cuncic, 2020). By doing this, I will be able to make sure that I am indeed listening and understanding what the other person is saying.


Communicating in Groups PDF. (n.d). Scribd. Web.

Cuncic, A. (2020). How to practice active listening. Verywell Mind. Web.

Doyle, A. (2020). Important active listening skills and techniques. The Balance Careers. Web.

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