Active listening is simple to learn but challenging to master. The premise of active listening is not only to listen, but to relay to the person you’re listening to, that you comprehend what they said.
Three simple steps can be followed for active listening:
Listen first. Let them ramble and ramble. Encourage them to continue by asking, “And what else?” or “Tell me more.” Of course, this only makes sense if you feel that there is more to the story.
Ensure that you understood. Now that you’ve heard what they’ve said summarize it for them in your own words and ask, “Do I understand this correctly?” They may or may not clarify certain points.
Offer advice. The last step is asking, “May I give my opinion on this?” Asking first gives them a heads up that you’re about to give your opinion, so they are mentally prepared to hear what you have to say. This opens them up to your advice.
That’s how active listening works. It can be a little tricky at first, but once you have these three steps laid out, you will start naturally doing it with your support sessions. Good luck.