5 Levels of Listening You Need to Master for Effective Communication


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Humans are often considered social beings who thrive on connections with one another, and these connections are what communication is all about.

Communication enables us to share information with others and understand what is being said, allowing us to achieve our goals, which is impossible without the ability to listen actively.

Listening actively is about bringing yourself to the conversation, or being present to or for another person. It is about allowing them to speak until they are finished without the need of interrupting. When people lack the ability to listen effectively, communications are easily misunderstood or misinterpreted.

If we were to describe listening by levels, as we do in our ACTP Coach Training Program at the 3D Coaching Academy by CoachWhizz, we would notice that there are five levels of Listening to that help us understand what effective communication is between the speaker and the listener.

Level 1 – Listening Through Biases

At this level of listening, although it might be unconscious to us, we are not making any effort to listen.

We already have preconceived notions about what is right and wrong based on other people’s actions and perspectives, so we only hear half of what the other person says to get the gist of it and respond based on our assumptions.

Mastering this level helps us to become more aware of these biases, and recognize and overcome them.

Level 2 – Listening To Self

The most common place people listen is from themselves, hence at this level the listener appears to be listening to the speaker but is not actually engaged. We may nod our heads or make another gesture to show that we are listening, but in reality, we do not pay full attention to what the speaker is saying and only hear parts of the message until it makes sense to us. We aren’t as present as required because we are preoccupied with something else in our minds.

Mastering this level increases our self-awareness, allowing us to be more engaged in the conversation and communicate effectively with the speaker.

Level 3 – Listening For The Client

This type of listening is also referred to as attentive listening.

At this level, we pay close attention to what the speaker is saying, in order to notice and listen beyond the words. We try to understand what is said and focus on the message communicated through words as well as the speaker’s feelings, emotions, values, and beliefs behind it.

Mastering this level allows us to become centered around the speaker, allowing us to take note of body language and nonverbal cues that may help us gain a better understanding of the speaker’s point and communicate more effectively.

Level 4 – Listening For Clients Whole System

active listening

This level of listening allows for a deeper understanding of one another, where we listen from the perspective of the speaker’s entire life system, rather than just a part of it. We actively listen to what is going on in their environment and consider how our response will make an effect on them as well as others in their life.

Mastering this level allows us to stretch ourselves in order to understand the speaker from an overall perspective, rather than just focusing on the words spoken.

Enroll in ICF-accredited coach training programs at the 3D Coaching Academy to master our 5 Levels of Listening for effective communication at the workplace and in personal life.

Level 5 – Listening From Mind

At this level, we pay close attention to what the speaker is saying and connect on a level beyond words from being to being. We give our whole selves to the conversation, including our ears, heart, and mind. Rather than focusing solely on the message, we try to listen to and comprehend the speaker’s points of view, feelings, identity, systems, and world.

In order to better comprehend and communicate, Mastering this level of listening allows us to go beyond words and gain an overall understanding of the speaker as a whole person, with full potential.

To be an active listener, it is important that you focus on the speaker, their message, their perspective, and beyond in order to allow the speaker to sense that you truly understand what’s being said.

If you want to become more effective in your communication, enroll in an ACTP accredited coach training program to hone your listening skills and communicate effectively with those around you. The 3D Coaching Academy by CoachWhizz provides ICF- An accredited coach training program.


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