AFFORD Listening Technique for High Levels of Communication

Attention

Give the speaker your full attention. Turn your body towards them & make eye contact. Don’t multitask. Give indications you’re listening (nodding, saying “yes” or making appropriate facial expressions.)

Focus

Focus on what the speaker is saying. Don’t think about your argument, what you’re going to say next, or anything else but the message you’re receiving.

Feelings

Identify the feelings behind the message. If the topic is sensitive or involves emotions, listen for what those feelings are. identify how the speaker feels about the topic they’re sharing with you.

Observe

Watch body language to see if it reinforces the message or is inconsistent with what the speaker is telling you.

Restate or Rephrase

If you want the speaker to feel heard, & you want to reinforce you’re hearing correctly, rephrase the message.

Determine

Verify you understand correctly if you’re unclear. After paraphrasing back, simply ask, “do I understand correctly?” If you’re still not clear, ask for more clarification.

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