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Active Listening

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Active Listening

  • And why it is a skill you must master!
Guest talking to Front Desk Hotel employee

Active Listening

The way to improve your listening skills at work and in life, is to practice Active Listening.

What is Active Listening?

I hear you ask!

Active Listening is when you make a conscious and intentional effort to hear what another person is saying.  But, more importantly, it is when you focus on trying to understand the complete message being given.

What do you do when you are Active Listening?

  • You pay attention to the other person very carefully when they are talking.
  • You don’t let yourself become distracted by other things, which may be going on around you.
  • You don’t think about counter arguments that you can make, once the other person has stopped speaking.
  • You don’t allow yourself to get bored or lose focus on what the other person is saying.

All of these contribute to Active Listening and understanding. People who have excellent Listening Skills are able to convey to another person that they are fully focused on what he or she is saying.

To understand the importance of this, ask yourself:

Have I ever been engaged in a conversation when I wondered

if the other person was listening to what I was saying?

Did you wonder if your message was getting across?

Did you wonder if they understood what you were saying?

Did you lose focus on what you were saying, because they appeared to be distracted?

Did it make you wonder if it was even worthwhile continuing to speak?

Did it make you feel like you were talking to a ‘brick wall’?

Did it make you feel unimportant?

Did it make you feel that what you were saying was not valued or interesting?

It is not a nice feeling, is it?!

Because the person didn’t appear to be listening to you, you may not have said everything that you needed or wanted to say.  Because the person didn’t appear to be listening to you, you may not have felt confident that the person would be able to help you properly.

Listening Skills are very important. Especially in the Hospitality and Services Industry, when we are dealing with guests, co-workers and Managers.  All of whom want to know that we have heard and understood them.

Active Listening means we can give the information Guests need, rather than information we think they asked for because we didn’t actively listen.


If you are finding it particularly difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, try repeating their words mentally, as they say them. This will reinforce their message and help you to stay focused.

Feel free to let me know what you think, experiences you’ve had with poor communication or ask any questions. Just click on Comments

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