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The Art of Active Listening

 by Amber Roberts, Extension Educator, Ag Business Management

Judges Actively Listening to 4-H Member

Communication involves more than just talking, it also requires intentional listening. Active listening fosters open communication and growth between people by focusing on both the content of the message and underlying feelings. To listen actively requires listening for the content and emotions behind a message while providing feedback on both. 

Listening skills can be improved through intentional practice. Before replying to the speaker, take a one to two-second pause. This pause shows the speaker that you are carefully listening to them instead of preparing your response. The pause can avoid the risk of interrupting the speaker and helps you to hear the speaker better. In addition to pausing before replying, ask open questions. Questions such as, "tell me more" or "what did you mean when you said" indicates that you are seeker further clarity and engaged in the conversation. 

More examples of how active listening can be used on your farm are included in the full podcast. 

Episode Highlights:
02:05 - Skills to becoming better listeners
04:42 - Exercise to Improve Active Listening
06:19 - Speaking and Listening Statistics  

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