Active listening exercises (Top 5)

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are active listening exercises?”. We will focus on the various exercises that help us practice active listening in routine life settings. We will also discuss each exercise in detail to understand the application of each exercise in practicing active listening effectively.

What are active listening exercises?

There are various exercises that can be utilized to practice active listening. These include the following :

  • Paying attention
  • Showing the other person that you are listening
  • Deferring judgment
  • Responding appropriately
  • Providing feedback
  • Practice till you get perfect
  • Role play to learn more 
  • Wrap up conversations 

Paying attention

Active listening is majorly focused on paying maximum attention as a conscious effort to understand the message being communicated. Paying attention in active listening requires giving undivided attention to the speaker and acknowledging the message being conveyed by the speaker. 

Paying attention  in active listening not only asks for the attention towards the verbal message but also the non verbal aspects of the message that include believing that non-verbal cues of the speaker say alot about the message being conveyed. Thus listening to the speaker’s body language and understanding the non verbal cues is involved in paying attention to the speaker for the process of active listening. 

Paying attention in active listening includes the following :

  • Looking at the speaker directly
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Not focusing on your internal mental processes like distracting thoughts and biased judgements
  • Avoid getting distracted from any other stimuli
  • Turn a deaf ear towards the noise pollution
  • Focus on the intent of the message being communicated
  • Try to avoid preparing rebuttals mentaly
  • Try not to listen for answering only
  • If you find difficult to concentrate try to repeat the words of the speaker mentaly

Showing the other person that you are listening

It is of immense importance that you show the other person that you are listening. Active listening requires an appropriate use of body language and non verbal cues to show the other person that you are listening. In active listening, exercising the knowledge and information about the non verbal cues and body language is necessary.

You can show the other person that you are listening by :

  • Occasionally nodding your head while listening to the message
  • Providing verbal affirmations by using words like “ahan” and “”mmhmm”
  • Smiling pleasantly while listening to the speaker
  • Maintaining eye contact without staring at the person
  • Having an open body posture that conveys to the other person that you are interested
  • Encourage the speaker to complete his message by positive reinforcements

Deferring judgment

Active listening calls for having netral approach towards the message being conveyed. Instead of focusing on preconceived notions about the speaker or jumping to conclusions related to the message, active listening calls for listening peacefully to the complete message before drawing out inferences. 

Active listening also asks the listeners to be unbiased towards who is conveying the message and be focused on the reason for the message being communicated.

We can defer judgement in active listening through exercising the following steps :

  • Avoid interrupting the speaker while the message is being conveyed
  • Try not to intervene in the communication flow of the speaker
  • Approach the message with a neutral mindset
  • Avoid having a judgment about the speaker that might affect the neutrality of the message being conveyed
  • Keep aside your assumptions and avoid jumping to conclusions in your mind

Responding appropriately

Active listening is based on responding appropriately. We can listen actively if we exercise the following:

  • Being honest in your response towards the speaker
  • Not being biased or judgmental towards the speaker
  • Empathizing towards the speaker
  • Treating the speaker with compassion and kindness
  • Being assertive while communicating you concerns and drawing inferences

Providing feedback

Providing feedback in active listening is very much related to wrapping up the communication effectively and efficiently. Providing feedback in active listening is based on exercising :

  • Probing for getting into deeper details
  • Clarification inorder to neutralize any ambiguities
  • Summarizing inorder to convey your understanding of the message to the speaker
  • Reflecting upon the feelings of the speaker

Practice till you get perfect

Active listening is not a passive process. Active Listening is an active, conscious and voluntary experience that requires us to listen to, pay attention to and hear every word and gesture of the speaker and get to the depth of the message being conveyed by the speaker. 

No human can be a perfect active listener unless he practices and exercises well the key to be an active listener which is based on the three A’s namely :

  • Attitude while being in the process of active listening counts for the overall outcome of the active listening
  • Attention towards the words of the speaker and the body language of the speaker without any concern toward one’s own mental capacities 
  • Adjustment in active listening demands gowing with the flow and getting attuned to the scenario while getting minimally distracted and focusing on the intent of the message being communicated.

Role play to learn more 

Exercising role play can help us to learn active listening. Role playing scenarios with other people or through imagination helps us actively learn and overcome the barriers 


The current blogspot focused on the question “what are active listening exercises?”. We learned about the various exercises and activities that can help us to practice active listening in our daily life routines. We also discussed each exercise in detail.

Frequently asked questions :active listening exercises 

What are four examples of active listening?

The four examples of active listening include :

  • Building trust 
  • Establishing positive connection
  • Verbal affirmations
  • Using non verbal cues

What are 5 active listening techniques?

The 5 active listening techniques include :

  • Deferring judgment
  • Provide feedback
  • Pay attention
  • Respond appropriately to the non verbal cues
  • Avoid interruption

What are the 3 A’s of active listening?

The 3 A’s of active listening are :

  • Attention
  • Attitude 
  • Adjustment

What are active listening activities?

The active listening activities include :

  • Asking relevant questions
  • Positive body language
  • Pleasant smiling
  • Maintaining eye contact


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