West Yorkshire Mentor Guide

The skill of Active Listening

Active listening is the ability to listen and internalise what is being said; essentially listening and understanding. You can use your whole self to convey the message of an active listener involved in the discussion, showing interest, gaining trust and respect. This can be achieved by using verbal and non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication has more impact than words alone, so facial expression, eye contact, non-verbal prompts (e.g. head nodding) and body posture (leaning slightly towards the Mentee, showing interest) will contribute towards building upon the professional relationship and improving discussions. Your surroundings can also be utilised to create a climate appropriate for discussion to occur. The aim is for a quiet, pleasant and relaxed environment with no physical barriers (e.g. a desk between Mentor and Mentee) to be used to conduct the meeting in. Within active listening, we can concentrate on two important aspects used within Mentoring these being: 1. Being focused : Keeping the Mentee focused on a specific discussion topic, keeping the conversation confined around one area. This is difficult as Mentees in the early stages of Mentoring tend to have many questions and


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