Active and Verbal active listening techniques

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication, extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Intercultural Negotiation. Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers” (original title: “Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

1.1. Active listening techniques

Active listening relates to paralinguistic and non-verbal communication and includes in particular:

  • Verbal active listening techniques;
  • Paralinguistic active listening techniques;
  • Non-verbal active listening techniques.

1.2.     Verbal active listening techniques

It involves words that convey attention and understanding.

  • Open questions: who, where, when, how, why, with whom, in what way, at what time, for how long, what else… and other questions that allow the speech to be expanded and clarified.
  • Closed or clarifying questions: verification of content’s parts by questions requiring a “Yes/No” answer or other specific categories such as “a lot/ a little”, “before/after” and others of this kind.
  • Mirror technique (content’s reflection): repetition of sentences or parts of sentences said by the other party, without changes and alterations. The “mirror” technique comes from the empathic listening methodologies used in the Rogersian1 therapeutic interview. It is a technique of psychotherapeutic origin, which allows the “client” to bring out the contents expressed by them and in which they reflect themselves.
  • Paraphrase: use of “as if”. Search for understanding of what has been said, with the use of metaphors or examples that try to assess whether one has really understood the deep meaning of what the other party is saying.
  • Historical synthesis: repetition of what has been said, in the form of a summary of the “story’s” highlights.

Verbal encouragement: e.g., ‘good’, ‘interesting’, ‘yes’, ‘ok’.

[1] Rogers, Carl R. (1961). On becoming a Person. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.

Rogers, Carl R. (1951). Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications, and Theory. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.

Article translated by dott. Marco Recalenda, CIELS Advanced Degree in Strategic Communication, extracted with the author’s permission from the book “Intercultural Negotiation. Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers” (original title: “Negoziazione interculturale. Comunicare oltre le barriere culturali. Dalle relazioni interne sino alle trattative internazionali”), written by Daniele Trevisani, published by Franco Angeli, Milan.

Other online material available in these sites:
Sito Studio Trevisani Formazione Coaching Consulenza (Italian & English)
Sito Daniele Trevisani (Italian)
Website Dr. Daniele Trevisani (English)
Comunicazione Aziendale
Comunicazione Interculturale
Medialab Research
Intercultural Negotiation (English)
Operational Negotiation (English)
Linkedin Profile Dr. Daniele Trevisani
Other available online resources
Pubblicazioni e libri dott. Daniele Trevisani (Books published)
Rivista online gratuita di Comunicazione, Potenziale Umano e Management
Iscrizione gratuita al Blog Studiotrevisani.it tramite Email
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CIELS Institutional Website: https://www.ciels.it/

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