Empathy And Active Listening - A Training Course For Work

Learn to connect on a deeper level


Empathetic Growth

Deeply enhance personal and professional relationships by mastering empathy and active listening skills.

Effective Communication

Develop skills to communicate assertively while empathetically understanding others' perspectives.

Lasting Change

Achieve sustained improvement in your interpersonal interactions through repeated practice and feedback.

Refine your communication skills by learning to harness your emotional intelligence with one of the UK's most acclaimed management training courses.

Why Choose This Training Course?

More Than Just A Course Of Lectures

What gets in the way of developing and holding on to new communication skills are old habits of thinking and speaking. Even if the advice is very good the reason why it rarely sticks are the mental habits people inevitably revert to, especially under pressure.

Unlearning those old habits and internalising a more effective and lasting approach to communication needs more than a short course of lectures on how to do it.

What Makes This Training Stand Out?

What makes this coaching stand out is the exceptional support through one-to-one coaching sessions and continuous feedback. Changing behaviour is not an easy task as old habits are hard to break.

With a 40-year track record we can help you cultivate practical skills, and build your confidence to so you can successfully navigate real-world challenges, ensuring lasting behavioural improvements.


Join thousands of participants getting results

"What I love about this course is that I didn't just learn about the topic, this course is about ME.  I'm confident I can reliably use my new skills, even when under pressure".

5 stars

A Project Manager At A Tech Company

"A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listening with empathy" and "speaking assertively"

5 stars

A Project Quality Engineer

Clients We Have Worked With

Well-known companies who have used this course again and again, over many years

  • Amgen 3
  • BBC
  • aunt bessies
  • Cargill 2
  • Heinz Logo 3
  • Civil service
  • NHS 2
  • Kelloggs Logo 2
  • IGT
  • JM 4 copy
  • Schweppes 3 logo
  • Castrol 3
  • Dewhirst 2
  • avon logo png
  • Nestle Logo
  • RSPB Logo 2022
  • Shell
  • UNHCR 3
  • unilever 2
  • BP 2
  • FBN 2

Coaching Summary

Training Objectives

Have you ever felt like friends or colleagues just don't get where you're coming from? Research suggests that empathy and active listening are key to better understanding and stronger relationships. This training course is your guide to mastering these social skills and, transforming how you communicate with those around you. This will help you to connect deeper!

  • Empathy is about understanding others' emotions by putting yourself in their shoes, and it's important for building strong relationships. Active listening involves fully engaging with someone when they speak, using all senses to capture their message.
  • Empathetic listening combines understanding body language and tone with the words being said. It helps the listener create deeper connections by making people feel heard and understood without losing your own perspective.
  • To communicate empathetically, use techniques like empathy guesses and avoiding bias. This means recognising personal biases that can block understanding others' feelings.
  • Interrupting during a conversation can be done empathetically if approached correctly. Look for pauses, maintain eye contact, be brief, and explain why you're interrupting to keep the discussion positive.
  • Asking for empathy requires speaking openly about your feelings using "I" statements, explaining why you need understanding, and guiding others on how to respond empathetically. It requires the ability to speak assertively without treading on the other person’s toes. On this course you’ll learn how to balance empathy with assertiveness.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

You will learn a set of powerful emotional intelligence communication techniques so that you can manage difficult conversations, handle challenging situations, build relationships and set firm boundaries.

Transferable Skills

The goal of this training is to equip you with the tools they need to build strong, lasting relationships in your professional life, although because these skills are so transferable many clients report vast improvements in their personal relationships as well.

Develop Skills

This is a skills development rather than just a theoretical programme, so the emphasis throughout will be on you taking turn after turn, practising your skills, while receiving feedback and coaching about your effect on others.

Repeated Practice and Feedback

In your coaching sessions you will be helped to practise dealing with the kinds of situation you find challenging, again and again, until you are confident you can do it successfully.

Video Analysis

We'll combine practical, hands-on experience with video replay and analysis and discussion of the principles involved to help you gain both skills and understanding. Special attention is paid to your individual training needs, so you can practise your skills in real-life situations that you have to handle at work.

Sustained Change

That's why as well as your place in a small group, this training includes a generous amount of private and confidential one-to-one coaching sessions online, spread over several months, ensuring an exceptional level of support. This will ensure the changes you make are sustained over a longer period of time and any obstacles are overcome. Choose between online training available worldwide, or in-person face-to-face courses in the UK.

Course Dates and Price

For a list of upcoming course dates (for online coaching and face-to-face training), the locations of the next 3-day public courses in the UK and pricing Click here.

Free Initial Session

This initial coaching session serves as an introduction to the "Skills with People" course, allowing you to understand the course's relevance and effectiveness for your specific needs before committing to it.

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Emotional Intelligence and Listening Skills Training

What is Empathy?

At its core, empathy is the ability to step into someone else's shoes – not just to see their view but to deeply understand the emotions behind it. It’s a vital ingredient in building meaningful connections that transcend mere transactions of words; it's about the heartfelt exchange between humans where one truly feels seen and understood.

Definition of empathy

Empathy lets you sense other people's feelings. It's like putting yourself in their shoes and imagining what they are going through. This ability is key in connecting with others and understanding them better.

When you have empathy, you don't just see someone's smile or frown - you get why they feel that way.

Being empathetic means more than just seeing emotions; it involves a deep understanding of someone’s situation. You pick up on the little clues - like tone of voice or body language - that tell you how a person is really feeling.

This isn't easy; it takes practice and awareness to get right. But once mastered, empathy can bridge gaps between hearts and minds, making everyone involved feel heard and valued.

Importance of empathy in relationships

Being able to step into someone's shoes can make a huge difference in how we connect. Empathy adds that special touch to our interactions, making people feel heard and valued. It lets us share not just words but also feelings, creating strong bonds between friends, family members, and even coworkers.

This soft skill goes beyond saying "I understand," diving deep into the emotional pool of those around us.

Empathy lights up each conversation like sunshine breaking through clouds - it brightens days and warms hearts. In relationships, it acts as a bridge over troubled waters, allowing us to meet halfway with understanding instead of judgement.

Sharing emotions in this way can lead to happiness and boost self-worth—it's all about feeling connected on a level where words sometimes fall short.

Empathy vs sympathy

Empathy means stepping into someone else's shoes and really feeling their joy or pain. It's like looking through their eyes and understanding why they feel a certain way. Now, sympathy is different - it’s about recognising someone's feelings from your own viewpoint.

So you might see someone upset, and feel sorry for them but not quite share in that sadness the same way they do.

It's key to know the difference between empathy and sympathy when helping others. If a colleague struggles with something at work, showing empathy makes them sense you’ve understood how they feel, without being caught up in it right there with them i.e. you’re not also struggling too. You’d be saying something like, “I can imagine how frustrating it must be for you being stuck, let’s see who best I can help you”.

On the other hand, expressing sympathy has you in the same hole they’re in; caring for sure, yet it can be roe debilitating as you’ll be saying some like, “There, there, poor you”.. This distinction helps us connect better with people - whether we offer a shoulder to cry on or just an understanding nod.

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She now feels more confident in tackling people

What is Active Listening?

Active listening isn't just hearing; it's a conscientious, conscious effort to really grasp what someone is telling you - capturing the emotions, nuances, and subtle gestures that are part of the whole message.

It's about diving deep into their words with undivided attention and an open heart, peeling back layers beyond surface chatter to true understanding.

The definition of active listening

Active listening means really paying attention to the person who is talking. It's not just about hearing their words, but also getting the full picture of what they're trying to say.

You need to focus on the speaker, understand their message, and show that you are following along. This might include nodding your head, making eye contact or asking questions about what they have shared with you. It includes skills like summarising, paraphrasing and empathising.

It's all about being present in the chat and taking in everything - words, tone of voice, and even non verbal cues like facial expressions. When you practice active listening, it helps make the other person feel heard and valued.

And this can lead to better relationships because everyone likes feeling that someone truly cares about their thoughts and feelings.

Differences between active listening and regular listening

Active listening stands out because it means you are really paying attention to the person talking. You're not just hearing their words; you 'see' them as well, with your full focus on understanding what they say.

You use all your senses to get the whole message. This kind of deep listening shows that you care about the speaker's feelings and thoughts.

Regular listening can often be just hearing words without much thought. It might mean nodding along but not taking in the true meaning or emotions behind those words. In regular casual conversation, people might think about what to say next instead of focusing on the speaker's message.

But active listeners put their own ideas aside. They stay in the moment, pay attention, watching body language and catching voice tones to understand better.

Active listening helps build stronger connections because it involves empathy and a real effort to grasp someone else’s point of view. For work success or closer personal bonds, being an active listener makes a big difference compared to simply hearing sounds without engaging fully.

Benefits of active listening

Active listening helps people really understand each other. It's not just about hearing words, but also catching the feelings and thoughts behind them. When someone actively listens, they show they value the person speaking.

This can make a big difference in all sort of professional and personal relationship and meetings.

Being good at active listening takes some skills like staying focused, nodding your head, and saying "uh huh." These small things tell the speaker you're with them. They might share more because they feel listened to.

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People can't help arguing when they feel misunderstood

The Power of Empathetic Listening

Harnessing the power of empathetic listening can transform your interactions, creating deeper connections and a greater understanding—dive in to discover how you too can master this vital skill.

Understanding body language, voice tone, and words

Body language, voice tone, and the words someone uses tell us a lot. They help us understand what people really mean, even when they don't say it directly. For example, crossing arms might show that a person is closed off or uncomfortable.

warm tone in someone's voice can mean they care. The exact words people choose can give clues about how they think and feel.

To connect well with others, we need to listen with our ears and eyes as well as sense the feelings behind the words. This means paying close attention to all these signs without jumping to conclusions.

Listening this way shows respect and builds trust – it makes others feel heard and understood. We gather important information too, which helps us see things from their point of view.

With good listening skills like this, we make better friends and solve problems together more easily.

Connecting with others without losing yourself

Making real connections means you listen and understand, but you don't lose who you are. It's like being in a dance where you move together but still have your own style. You share thoughts and feelings with others, yet keep your own thoughts too. Just because the person you’re with feels frustrated about something not going well at work doesn’t mean you have to also be frustrated in order to be able to empathise with them.

This kind of listening makes trust grow and helps make strong ties with people.

Sometimes it's hard to stay true to yourself while being there for someone else. But it's important that while we encourage the speaker, we also hold on to our beliefs and ideas. Keep giving full attention without letting go of your values or pretending to be someone you're not; this is what brings out honest chats and deep bonds between people.

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People used to be scared of him - no longer

Overcoming Obstacles to Empathy

Empathy may seem like a natural skill for some, but many of us encounter hurdles—from tuning into others' emotions to maintaining our own equilibrium—yet, mastering this art is a game-changer in forging stronger connections..

Keep reading to unlock the secrets of truly stepping into someone else's shoes.

Importance of attunement

Getting in tune with someone means really understanding what they feel. This skill helps a lot when we try to understand others. Attunement lets us pick up on things that aren't said out loud, like body language or tone of voice.

It's about being fully there with the person, not just hearing their words but also getting their emotions.

To be good at empathy, you need attunement first. You learn to join someone in their feelings without getting lost yourself. This is super important for people who help others, like counsellors or therapists.

They use this skill to connect deeply and make sure clients feel heard and understood. Being mindful can help manage tough feelings and improve how we empathise too.

Practicing empathy with equanimity

Understanding another person's feelings takes more than just caring. It needs a calm mind, composure and a generous spirit. Having this kind of equanimity means you can stay peaceful inside, even when tough emotions are around you. Think of it as a little gift of a certain quality of your attention which you are giving the other person.

So, while practicing empathy, it helps to keep your cool.

Keeping this balance lets you connect with people without getting lost in their problems. You listen with care and still hold on to who you are. This way, your bond gets stronger because they feel heard and you don't get overwhelmed.

It's a key part of being a good listener—and it helps build trust and respect between people at work or home.

Lack of attention

Practicing empathy with a calm mind is key, yet staying fully engaged can be tough. So many things fight for our attention every day. When talking to someone, we might miss what they're really saying if we don't pay close attention with full focus.

Lack of attention stops us from being good listeners and feeling others' emotions. Our brains get too much infosometimes, making it hard to listen well. We need to work on this if we want better talks at work or with friends.

Keeping eye contact helps a lot, and so does asking open-ended questions that show you care about the person's point of view.

Watch out for your own thoughts taking over - stay in the moment! Listen to their voice tone and watch their body language. This way, you'll catch more than just words and you'll become a better listener—and that's great for everyone involved!

Emotional barriers

Sometimes feelings become walls. Fear can be a big wall that stops us from understanding others. We might get scared about making mistakes or looking bad, so we don't open up. Also, thinking our way is always the best can make it hard to see someone else's view.

This kind of judging turns off empathy.

Another problem is when we compete inside ourselves. Wanting to be the best or win all the time makes it tough to feel for others. We need to let go of needing to come first and just listen with our hearts.

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Learn how to be soft on the person yet tough on the issue

Deepening Empathetic Listening

As we dig deeper into empathetic listening, we'll uncover the subtleties that transform good communication into something truly profound. It's not just about hearing words; it’s about fully immersing ourselves in someone else's world, grasping the unspoken and fostering connections that resonate on a deeper level.

Using empathy guesses

Empathy guesses are like detective work for feelings. You look at the clues - someone's words, tone, and body language - and make a guess about what they might be feeling. It's not about being right every time.

It's more about showing you're trying to understand and that you care.

Say your colleague looks sad but hasn't said why. You might guess, "You seem down - is there something on your mind?" This opens a door for them to share if they want to. Even if your guess misses the mark, it can start a chat that leads to better understanding each other’s emotions.

Using empathy guesses helps everyone feel heard and really connects people in conversations.

Navigating bias and empathy circles

Just as empathy guesses help us understand emotions, navigating bias and empathy circles is key to deeper conversations. This step takes us beyond our own views and helps us connect with diverse perspectives.

  • Acknowledge personal biases first; we all have them, and they can block our understanding of others.
  • Practice listening without judgment. It will ensures others feels truly heard.
  • Keep an open mind when others speak; try to see the world from their eyes, even if it's challenging.
  • Listen for feelings and needs behind words; sometimes what's not said is just as important as what is.
  • Reflect on how bias shapes reactions during conversations; notice any discomfort or resistance that comes up.
  • Use pauses in the discussion to consider your thoughts before responding; this can prevent knee-jerk reactions.
  • Encourage and seek variety. Diverse backgrounds and experiences bring rich perspectives to the table.
  • Actively challenge stereotypes that may arise; replace them with individual experiences shared in the circle.
  • Stay present and engaged with non - verbal cues like nodding; this shows you value what's being shared.
  • Share your perspective without overshadowing others'; balance is crucial for mutual respect and understanding.

Dealing with reactivity in communication

Reacting quickly in talks can cause trouble. It helps to stay calm and understand emotions better. Listen and show you get the other person's feelings. This builds trust. You are not just hearing words, you feel what they say.

You might face someone upset or angry. Try to think about what they feel - this is empathic listening. Reflect their emotions in your own words; it shows care and support without taking sides.

Now, let's explore how empathy allows us to interrupt others kindly..

Understanding emotions and perspectives of others

To really get what someone else is feeling, we need to listen with our hearts. This isn't just about hearing words in an analytical way; it's about catching the feelings behind them. You watch their faces and see how they're telling their story.

Are they sad, happy, or maybe scared? Their voice - how loud or soft it is - also tells us a lot. It's like putting yourself in their shoes so you can understand where they're coming from.

It takes work to keep your own thoughts quiet while doing this. Imagine you're on one of those big bridges that lets boats pass under. Just like the bridge makes room for boats, you make room for another person's ideas and feelingswithout letting your own stuff get in the way.

And when you respond, it’s not with quick fixes or advice. Instead, say things that show you really get them and are right there with them in whatever they’re going through.

How to respond with empathy

Show you understand someone's feelings to respond with empathy. Say things like, "That sounds tough," or "I see why you're upset." Listening well means making eye contact and not interrupting.

Let people share their stories without rushing them. Use your words to show you get how they feel.

Give back what the person said in your own words. This is called reflecting and it helps a lot. It makes the other person feel heard and cared about. Always stay kind, even if the chat is hard.

And don't try to fix everything right away; sometimes listening is enough.

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Stand up for your ideas and also respect theirs

Interrupting with Empathy

Ever been in the thick of a heated conversation, itching to chime in? Here's the twist – you can, with finesse. Interrupting isn't all taboo; done with a touch of empathy, it can actually steer dialogue towards mutual understanding.

Let's navigate those choppy conversational waters and master the art of timing our interjections.. just right.

How to effectively interrupt with empathy

Interrupting someone can seem rude, but sometimes we need to break in to say something important. You can do it with care and empathy.

  • Watch for a natural pause in their speaking. This is the best time to speak up without seeming rude.
  • Maintain eye contact as you interrupt. This shows you're still engaged and not just cutting them off.
  • Start with words that show support such as "I see..." or "It sounds like...". These phrases make it clear you've been listening attentively.
  • Be brief and to the point. Say what you need to clearly so the person knows why you're interrupting.
  • Use an open - ended question if you want them to explain more. It invites them to keep sharing without feeling shut down.
  • Offer a reason for your interruption. People are more understanding if they know why you're breaking into the conversation.
  • Apologise when needed. A simple "Sorry for jumping in, but..." can smooth over any awkwardness.
  • Return focus to the speaker once you've made your point. Reinforce that their thoughts are important by shifting attention back to them.
  • Sometimes you can say, “Please may I interrupt … I need to check I’m following what you’re saying”.

Importance of empathy in conflict resolution

Empathy is a superpower in sorting out fights. It lets you see things through another person's eyes and acknowledge what they're feeling. This skill cools down arguments and helps everyone get along better.

Being able to listen with empathy sets apart someone who resolves conflicts from those stuck in them.

Not only does empathy smooth over rough patches, but it also makes bonds stronger. People trust you more when you understand their feelings. They're more likely to share what's really bothering them, opening the door for honest talks and real solutions.

It also encourages others to be willing to reciprocate and tune in on your wavelength if you’ve shown them the respect of listening to them with empathy first.

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Now by involving people he takes them with him

How to ask for Empathy

When it comes to asking for empathy, there's an art and a grace involved; it's about inviting understanding and connection from others without force or desperation. There are techniques that encourage others to walk in your shoes, fostering deeper relationships and compassionate support.

Techniques for asking for empathy

Asking for empathy takes guts and skill. Here's how to do it right.

  • Speak with authenticiy. Open up about your feelings and what's going on inside.
  • Being assertive means using "I" statements, like "I feel …”, or “I need …”. This puts the spotlight on your experience, not blaming others.
  • Be clear about what you're feeling. Say things like "I feel upset" rather than just "I'm fine."
  • Explain why you need empathy. Let people know how listening can help you.
  • Ask directly for what you need. If you want someone to listen, say so.
  • Set the stage for a chat by picking a quiet place where you won't be disturbed.
  • Make eye contact to show it's important and to connect better.
  • Give examples of empathetic responses that would help, like "It sounds like that was hard for you."
  • Be patient; not everyone gets it right away, but explain gently if needed.

Benefits of asking for empathy in relationships

Once you know how to ask for empathy, you will see how it can change your relationships. People feel important when they are asked to show empathy. They understand that their thoughts and feelings matter to someone else.

When we share our own feelings and ask others to listen with an open heart, trust grows between us. This trust makes it easier for everyone to talk about difficult things.

Empathy in relationships creates a strong bond. It can make people feel closer and more connected. Showing that you care about another person's feelings can help solve problems together.

When we practice active listening, the other person feels heard and respected, which is key for any good relationship. Being vulnerable by asking for empathy also shows that we trust the other person enough to share our true selves with them.

Asking for support in a compassionate way

It's okay to seek help and show your heart. Sometimes, we all need support. Asking in a warm way can make a big difference. Use kind words, keep eye contact, and let them see you're sincere.

Explain what's up without blaming or getting upset.

Be brave and share your feelings honestly. Tell them why their help matters to you. They'll likely understand and want to be there for you. Listen back with the same kindness when they speak too.

This helps everyone feel close and trusted, making it easier to work together or be friends.

The role of vulnerability in empathy

Being open and showing our true feelings can be scary, but it's key for empathy. You let others see your heart when you share your worries or dreams with them. This builds trust and closeness.

Both the person talking to active listener and the one listening need to be brave in this way. They can then truly get why someone feels a certain way or thinks something.

To really listen with an empathetic ear, we must lay down our guards. This means being honest with ourselves about how we react to what someone else is saying, without trying to fix things right away or make judgments.

We take a step toward understanding their world - and that helps everyone feel more connected and cared for.

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Learn how to tune in to others and enable them to tune in to you

This Empathy and Active Listening Course

Dive into a transformative learning experience designed to hone your interpersonal abilities - our carefully curated course is your first step towards mastering the arts of empathy and active listening.

Uncover strategies for meaningful connections. You can take that leap and enrich your communicative repertoire.

Course curriculum and topics

  • Basics of Empathy: Get to know what empathy means. Learn how it's different from sympathy. Discover why it is so important in connecting with people.
  • Understanding Active Listening Skills: Dive into the art of active listening. Explore how it's not just about hearing words but truly understanding the speaker.
  • Active Listening Techniques Today: Pick up practical skills for attentive listening. Find out how to stay focused, maintain eye contact, and use open-ended questions to encourage conversation.
  • Barriers to Effective Communication: Identify common obstacles in listening and empathy, such as lack of attention or emotional blocks. Learn strategies to overcome them.
  • Empathetic Listening in Action: Practise reading body language and tone of voice. Learn how these cues can offer deeper insights into a person’s feelings.
  • Asking Probing Questions: See how asking the right questions can create clarity. Develop your ability to probe without being invasive, building trust along the way.
  • Navigating Personal Bias: We all have biases. This course helps identify them so they won't get in the way when you're trying to listen and empathise.
  • Empathy in Conflict Resolution: Understand the role empathy plays when disagreements arise. Learn techniques for using empathy to diffuse tension and find solutions.
  • Vulnerability and Seeking Support: Work on opening up yourself. It's about feeling safe enough to ask for help and showing compassion when others do the same.
  • Giving authentic feedback: Telling the truth without ruffling feather.

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Learn how to be both firm and fair

Information About You Trainer At Gould Training

After diving deep into the topics of empathy and active listening skills, you might feel ready to learn from an expert trainer. Our course is run by Alex, a seasoned therapists and counselor who have years of experience in teaching these vital skills.

I understand the importance of being an attentive listener and practicing the active listening technique myself. I can professionally guide you through every step of your learning journey.

You can trust me to offer rich insights into interpersonal skills that lead to workplace success. With my help, overcoming obstacles like lack of attention or emotional barriers becomes manageable.

I’m also equipped at handling compassion fatigue - a common challenge for empathetic listeners. By enrolling in this course, you gain access to my expertise on how to be non-judgmental, seek clarification when needed, and use open ended questions effectively in everyday conversations or clinical settings.

How to enroll in the course

Learning about empathy and active listening techniques from a knowledgeable provider is key. Enrolling in the course is your next step. The first of your coaching sessions is FREE - so you're not committing yourself to the rest of the programme until you're sure this training is relevant for you.

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Learn to get taken more seriously


1. What will I learn in an empathy and active listening course?

You'll pick up key listening skills used for understanding others, like paying close attention, maintaining eye contact, and giving feedback without passing judgement – all part of being an effective listener.

2. How does actively listening help in problem solving?

When you're actively listening, you really get the key points of what someone's saying. Often, this means you can help them find their own solutions just by seeking clarification, offer ideas or suggesting certain points they might explore.

3. Can developing empathy improve my work as a clinical supervisor?

Absolutely! A clinical supervisor who's good at empathy can better understand staff needs and challenges – leading to more supportive interactions and fresh new ideas for the workplace.

4. Is withholding judgment important when providing feedback?

Yes indeed! By withholding judgment while following techniques like offering ideas suggestively – not forcefully – you make sure the communication process stays open and positive.

5. Are there signs I should watch for to show that I'm successfully actively listening?

Sure thing! Other signs include nodding along while they talk or asking questions that show you've been paying attention to what they're sharing with you.

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Now he listens before jumping to conclusions

Get Started Now

Free exploratory coaching session

The first session is free so you're not committing yourself until you're sure this training is relevant for you. You will also learn something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work.

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