AFFORD Listening Technique for High Levels of Communication


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 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.


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.


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.


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.

Shane Drumm

Shane is an Agile Project Manager who specialises in digital web projects. He has worked with numerous distributed teams in Asia, Europe, US and Australia. In his spare time, enjoy travelling, cycling, digital start-up ventures and hustling to help other business owners with their digital presence. Find out more about Shane on and please reach out and connect with Shane on LinkedIn.


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