Benefits of Active Listening (+Do’s &Don’ts of Therapy)

In this article, we will look at the benefits of active listening. This article also explores the benefits of active listening in the workplace and in therapy, and verbal and non verbal active listening skills.

Benefits of Active Listening

You Grasp New And Important Information

Active listeners are likely to remember precise information since they are actively involved with the speaker. This is particularly important when the speaker is giving you directions, educating you on a new technique, or presenting a message that you must pass on to others.

You Are Able To Resolve Problems Effectively

Actively listening to others will assist you in detecting obstacles and issues that others are experiencing, as well as problems in the project. The more you recognise these problems, the sooner you will come up with a solution or make a strategy to solve them.

You Can Build Connections

Others would feel a lot more comfortable exchanging information with you if you listen actively. People would be more interested in engaging with you on a daily basis if you show your willingness to really listen to what others have to say. This will make it easier to communicate with others and solve problems easily. These factors will assist you in achieving professional success.

You Can Expand Your Knowledge

Great workers are often eager to learn new skills and broaden their expertise. Active listening can aid in understanding new subjects and recall what you’ve learned so that you can implement it in the future because it helps you preserve knowledge

You Can Build Trust

People are more likely to trust you if they feel they can talk openly to you without disruptions, judgement, or unnecessary interjections. This is particularly useful when meeting someone new, a client or maybe a business contact with whom you hope to establish a lasting professional relationship.

You Can Avoid Misunderstandings

Among the most understandable reasons to practice active listening is to ensure that you have correctly heard the message from the speaker. Miscommunications, misunderstandings, and broken professional and personal relationships may all result from not fully comprehending what is being said.

Active Listening Skills in Therapy

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of active listening skills in therapeutic settings:

When the client is speaking, give them your complete and undivided attentionChange the topic or talk about yourself
Paraphrase or repeat their conversation for themTrying to change or fix the things they say
Ask them how something made them feel e.g. ask “How did that make you feel?”Overlook their feelings around a situation
Allow them to hold silenceFilling up the space with talk
Let the conversation unfold organicallyForce them to open up

What is Active Listening?

Active listening is a soft skill that shifts your attention from what’s going on in your mind to what’s going on around you. The skill to concentrate fully on a speaker, grasp their message, absorb the details, and react thoughtfully is known as active listening. 

Unlike passive listening, which is merely hearing a speaker but not remembering what they said, this highly regarded communication skill enables you to interact and remember precise details without having to repeat facts.

You will better interpret needs and knowledge if you can concentrate on what the other person has to say.

The Importance of Active Listening

Active listening is often lacking in conversation. Very often people are so preoccupied with talking and telling their own stories that they forget that listening is an area that takes practise and continuous attention.

Consider the following scenario. You’ve probably had the experience of asking someone’s name when you meet them for the first time. And, when they’re asking you their name, you’re considering saying your own. You haven’t paid attention to their name and may feel ashamed to inquire again.

This is the communication issue that so many people have. Our brains can quickly drift into our own thoughts, where we can imagine what will happen next or return to the past. This is why active listening is crucial. It’s the only way to communicate while being fully present.

Many people must practise this as both a lesson and a skill in order to remain genuinely present in their present situation. The majority of people fall into the trap of passive listening rather than active listening. This indicates that they aren’t really paying attention. They are not interrupting, but they are not giving input or raising questions to ensure that the speaker’s message  is understood.

Verbal Active Listening Skills


Summarize the key points of the speaker’s message to demonstrate that you clearly understand their context. This will also allow the speaker to explain any ambiguous details or build on their message.

Asking open-ended questions

Ask any questions that indicate you’ve gotten the gist of what they have said and encourage them to share more details. Try to ensure you can’t address those questions with a plain “yes” or “no.”

Asking targeted questions

Ask pointed questions to encourage the reader to elaborate on the details they’ve provided or to break down a large subject or issue.

Using brief verbal affirmations

Short, constructive comments will put the speaker at ease and demonstrate that you’re paying attention and processing the information they’re giving you. Small verbal affirmations allow you to carry on the discussion without disrupting or disturbing the flow of the speaker.

Showing empathy

Verify that the speaker knows that you are capable of recognising and sharing their sentiments. You will communicate with the speaker and start building mutual confidence by displaying empathy instead of just experiencing it.

Sharing similar experiences

Bringing up similar scenarios will not only demonstrate to the speaker that you have correctly understood their message, but it will also help you develop relationships. If the speaker has brought up a dilemma, sharing your experiences with those who have faced similar problems is helpful.

Recalling previously shared details

Try to recall important concepts, thoughts, or other key details that the speaker has previously shared with you. This shows you’re not only paying attention to what they’re doing right now, but also that you can remember the information and recall precise data.

Non Verbal Active Listening Skills


A few quick nods to the speaker demonstrate that you acknowledge what they’re saying. A nod is a supportive, encouraging cue that doesn’t actually suggest you agree with the person who is speaking, but rather that you understand what they’re saying.


A brief smile, like a nod, allows a speaker to continue speaking. Unlike a nod, however, it conveys that you identify with their message or are pleased with whatever they have to say. A smile can substitute for a brief verbal acknowledgement in reducing anxiety and ensuring that the speaker is at ease.

Avoiding distracted movements

Being still can show attention. Stop movements like taking a peek at the clock or mobile, loudly sighing, scribbling, or clicking a pen to do this. Avoid sharing verbal or nonverbal messages with other people who are listening to the speaker. The speaker can become agitated and uneasy as a result of this.

Maintaining eye contact

Keep your gaze fixed on the speaker and quit staring around the room at other people or things. Simply maintain a relaxed gaze and use nods and smiles to indicate you’re motivating instead of intimidating the speaker.

You will work toward building deeper relationships and gaining more knowledge from your organisational experiences by incorporating the above verbal and nonverbal approaches into potential conversations. It takes time and effort to develop and retain active listening skills. The more you use these methods, the more normal they will seem.

Other  worksheets you may be interested in

Below are links to a few more worksheets which are closely related to the worksheet above.

Active listening quiz pdf

Active Listening Worksheet pdf

Active Listening: Communication Skill Worksheet


In this article, we looked at the benefits of active listening. This article also explored the benefits of active listening in the workplace and in therapy, and verbal and non verbal active listening skills.

Frequently Asked Questions: Benefits of Active Listening

What is active listening and why is it important?

Active listening strengthens bonds and, while it does not come easily to all of us, it is an important communication ability. In an environment where feelings often reach critical mass, strong and efficient communication skills are important.

What is the strength of active listening?

Summarizing, reviewing, rephrasing, acknowledging, acceptable body language, eye contact, and other active listening skills are essential. These skills assist us in ensuring that we aim to comprehend and explain what is being conveyed. Interrupting, judging, or interpreting is not a good idea.

What is the concept of active listening?

Active listening is a technique for listening and reacting to another person in a manner that promotes common understanding. It’s a crucial first step toward defusing the crisis and finding solutions.

Why is active listening important in counseling?

Active listening is a powerful method for reducing the intensity of a situation’s feelings. The strength of an emotion disperses like a cloud every time the counsellor accurately identifies it. The speaker is aware that he or she has been received and respected. Reasoning skills can work more efficiently after the emotional intensity has been lowered.

Why is active listening important for communication?

Active listening is a basic communication skill that can enable leaders, executives, and managers to communicate more effectively and resolve issues. Active listening not only facilitates a friendly dialogue and sincere, empathetic involvement, but it also has the ability to boost positive feelings.

How does active listening improve communication?

Since it promotes transparency, integrity, and performance, active listening is an integral aspect of your communication skill set. When you actually listen to your conversation partner, you demonstrate that you are paying attention to them, which builds confidence and makes them feel as though their thoughts matter to you.


Why Is Active Listening Important for Your Success

Active Listening Skills: Definition and Examples

Principles of Active Listening in Counselling