Engaged Listening (A Comprehensive Guide)

Listening is the most significant talent a person can have. How healthy he listens has a key influence on his job efficiency and on the quality of his relations with other people.

In the contemporary era of numerous interruptions, vigorous and engaged listening is an ability maximum individuals can afford to expand.

Giving handy devotion to what other people are saying and truthfully looking to comprehend the point of view of them is a dare and needs efforts and intentions.

During discussions, many individuals are attentive to what their subsequent statement is going to be or what they will say afterward.

Concentrating on our own feelings and opinions through conversation is really pretty disturbing and pulls us away from achieving a profound understanding of the point of view of other people.

In this article, we will discuss engaged listening.

Engaged Listening (A Comprehensive Guide)

How can active and engaged listening help

Being vigorously involved is an art and a talent as well.

By memorizing that power is the capability of having an influence or having an impact, a person can make many special opinions in a discussion to utilize his powers to vigorously involve and impact how the discussion drives.

A person by not utilizing his ability to confidently impact a discussion, he may be utilizing it to produce obstacles in his relations.

Frequently, a person involuntarily misuses his ability by under using it.

He lets things go instead of possessing the audacity to change statements to be profound or comprehensive, or merely to aid the conversation to be more amusing and exciting.

With engaged listening, the discussion can be inspirational, imaginative, beneficial, and fruitful.

Engaged Listening Increases Well-being

The necessity for connectivity and a place is essential in individuals, not only when an individual is born but also in grown-up life.

A person wanted to be loved, even if he does not like to confess it. This makes sense: humans grew up as social beings that wanted to attach with other people to maneuver and live.

The study has established that an individual impersonates other people with arguments and movements, just to display them that he is just like others.

Positive psychology study highlighted how enjoyable societal connections escalate our individual health and offer better life gratification.

One of the informal methods to escalate our happiness is through engaged listening.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, in 2008, claimed that social relations are one of ten crucial “happiness-enhancing” actions, mainly due to the sense of attachment we might experience when being around other people.

Fredrickson & Joiner in 2002 stated that spending a while with family or coworkers shapes optimistic feelings, a crucial constituent of contentment.

If societal relations are vibrant for a contented and satisfying life, and a crucial component of social communication is a decent discussion, then we are deprived of the abilities of engaged listening.

Engaged listening is an ability which one can exercise, and for his own happiness, and ability he needs to exercise.

Learning to Listen

Communiqué theory states about the dispatcher, the receiver, the communication, and the sound.

Unluckily, the noise has developed to be the most noticeable sound in one’s life.

This noise comprises bodily noise, for example, a vehicle driving by, as well as physiological sound, for example, what a person is thinking even though the other person is communicating with him.

West & Turner in 2010 stated that hearing is more than the submissive action of getting or listening.

It is the cognizant dispensation of the aural impetuses that have been observed via listening.

Therefore, engaged listening is a vigorous practice. There is an equilibrium established in engaged listening, among being inactive versus being overly active.

Have you ever heard a person, merely to understand you were preparing your answer the whole time?

Or been in a condition where the discussion declines to an arrangement of declarations and stories?

Frequently, our own schedule comes in the way of being an engaged listener.

Where does a person go wrong? Let’s take a look:

Our Most Common Listening Mistakes

Here are the most shared faults we make when hearing others

  1. Fantasizing or discerning of something different (even something as modest as a list of foodstuffs) while another individual is talking;
  2. Thinking about what to say next;
  3. Arbitrating what the other individual is speaking about
  4. Listening with a precise objective/consequence in the head.

These faults are merely symbols that a person is not listening to what another person is talking about.

And without engaged listening, it is challenging to discover the actual feelings and thoughts of a person, and by doing so, have an attractive discussion where individual senses are appreciated because someone listened.

The Art of engaged Listening

There is inadequate experiential proof on the topic of engaged, definite, or careful listening.

For now, a practical description for a psychoanalyst may be to:

“Try to establish absolute recognition and unprejudiced replication” (Weger et al., 2010).

AEL is an abbreviation for Active Empathetic Listening. Conventionally, it is a procedure of hearing experienced by salespeople.

One research considered the consistency and rationality of an AEL scale, which measures the perceptions of the client of the listener and comprises a self-assessment of the listener.

AEL is simply moved to the field of mental treatment and analysis, where the psychoanalyst is needed to appreciate the message of the client and his background without concentrating on his own understandings and approaches.

This way, a psychotherapist may help his customers and also form a significant therapeutic association.

Dollinger, Comer & Warrington in 2006 stated that in a relational background, engaged listening targets to curtail the effects of our prejudices and to exercise mindful tolerance while avoiding our own plans.

“No communication is ever translated without prejudice.”

In order to comprehend the necessity for engaged listening, one needs to be conscious that he receives and evaluates the whole things via his individual lens, through which he interprets the world.

Signs of Engaged Listening

Non-Verbal Signs of Attentive or Engaged Listening

This is a general grading of non-verbal symbols of engaged listening, one may say that individuals who are listening are more probable to show at least a few of these symbols. 

Though, these symbols might not be applicable in every circumstance and diagonal to all values.


Minor grins may be used to demonstrate that the one listening is giving consideration to what is being communicated or as a way of approving or being contented regarding the communications being acknowledged. 

Joint with signals of the head, grins might be influential in confirming that communications are being heard to and agreed.

Eye Contact

It is usual and typically inspiring for the hearer to see at the one speaking. Eyes contacts may though be frightening, particularly for speakers who are shyer gauge how much eye contacts are suitable for any assumed condition. 

Combine eye contact with grins and other non-verbal communications to inspire the narrator.


Postures might express a lot regarding the dispatcher and receiver in relational connections. 

The focused listener has a habit of to lean marginally frontward or oblique even as sitting. 

Additional signs of engaged listening can comprise a minor incline of the head or resting the head on one hand.


Involuntary replication/reflecting of any expressions of face utilized by the orator may be an indication of engaged listening. 

These replicative expressions may aid to display compassion and understanding in more passionate circumstances. 

Trying to deliberately impersonate facial expressions (i.e. not involuntary replication of expression) may be an indication of inattentiveness.


The engaged listener would not be diverted and consequently would abstain from playing around, watching at a clock or timepiece, sketching, playing with his hair, or selecting his fingernails.

Six Specific Tips 

1. Nonverbal involvement

Weger and his colleagues in 2010 stated that they see your colleague rather than looking at persons passing by.

Display your consideration by signaling through the head or raising your eyebrows.

Make sound which indicates attention. Think of that by hearing, we are interacting non-verbally.

2. Pay attention to the speaker, not your own thoughts

Dedicate your entire devotion to the orator.

Being attentive means being existent in the instant and giving devotion to what is happening right now.

In a discussion, this implies that seeing the orator whilst he is communicating his story.

Be aware of delicate variations in this voice, the way he mimics people, the words he uses, and the sentiments he is undergoing.

Attempt to really comprehend the thought process of your discussion companion.

Note your own beliefs, but from space, and fight the enticement to involve in them.

3. Practice Non-Judgment

Being careful means showing non-judgmental behavior.

There is no necessity to be agreed or disagreed with whatever being communicated or assess the statement being made.

Think of that giving your engaged presence is more significant as compared to having their profound questions responded (Rogers & Farson, 1957).

A skilled engaged listener is capable of simply receiving the messages without the necessity to evaluate or answer with his own prejudice.

4. Tolerate silence

Fight the need to seal the instants of peace. There is a different type of quietness.

Giving respect to silent moments may be an influential instrument for deeper discussion.

It provides the orator and listener an opportunity to replicate and carry on with this procedure. So frequently a person rushes to seal quietness, right before a person has thought to in his mind.

If a person finds quietness hard to handle, he may give encouragement to the other individual to carry on asking open-ended questions such as “What do you make of this?” or “Tell me something regarding the instance.”

Do not undervalue quietness for a hypothetically gorgeous discussion.

5. Paraphrase

Rephrasing is an additional influential conversation instrument. Opening with sentences for example “So you are saying that…” or echoing in your own words what you consider the other individual said, are ways to demonstrate that you shadowed the discussion and comprehend.

One may also rephrase by inquiring the orator a query, such as, “So are you saying that you felt painful in that experience?” or “What did you do after this happened?”

Fresh research has established that whilst rephrasing does not essentially make individuals feel agreed, it does make a better sense of friendship and closeness in a discussion.

This is a crucial portion of constructing faith and probable relationships.

FAQ about engaged listening

Q1. How do you become an engaged listener?

Provide Feedback

Defer Judgment

Respond Appropriately

Q2. What are the four examples of active listening?

Building trust and establishing rapport.

Demonstrating concern.

Paraphrasing to show understanding.

Q3. What are the benefits of active listening?

Build Relationships. People like to know that they are

being heard and understood. …

Improve Productivity. …

Overcome Disagreement.


Karen Doll (2019): “ What is engaged listening?”

 Cedar Barstow (2019): “3 Active Strategies for Engaged Listening”

Skillsyouneed.com (n.d.): “3 Active Strategies for Engaged Listening”

 Birgit Ohlin (2020): “Active Listening: The Art of Empathetic Conversation