20 Active Listening Exercises that Will Change your Life

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“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”–Bernard Baruch. Do you want to know some active listening exercises that will change your life? Active listening can prevent you from missing important information and help you build more knowledge.

If you are not a good listener, you cannot be an effective communicator. Additionally, Research indicates that active listening has many health advantages, including enhanced memory and increased learning.

In this article, we will take you through the definition of Active Listening, its Benefits, and 20 Active Listening Exercises that Will change your life.

Defining Active Listening

Active listening is a communication skill that involves paying attention to the speaker’s tone, body language, and other nonverbal cues in order to ensure a shared understanding of the message being conveyed.

It necessitates active participation in the communication process, which can boost relationships, and productivity, and result in more positive results.

Benefits Of Active Listening

Some of the key benefits of active listening:

1. Improves your Understanding

Active listening helps individuals gain a better understanding of the speaker’s perspective and intent by paying attention to the words, tone, body language, and nonverbal cues.

2. Empowers You as a Leader

Active listening is empowering and builds confidence by gaining an understanding of what will benefit the workplace. It also helps to become more aware of what’s happening in the workplace and better communicate with superiors and subordinates, paving the way for success.

3. Helps You to Build More Knowledge

Active listening is an essential skill for leaders to support learning and take advantage of industry trends. It helps to assimilate information and understand topics better, and to remember more details.

4. Builds Trust and Strong Relationships

Active listening can help build trust and form healthier working relationships with your team. Consider your team’s behaviors, such as disengaging from what you’re saying, being absent from work, and relying on email.

These behaviors can damage progress by fueling resentment and lowering productivity. Learning to listen actively can help re-establish trust and build healthier working relationships.

5. Helps You to Resolve Conflict

Active listening is essential for resolving conflict in the workplace, as it encourages us to see issues from different perspectives and appreciate other people’s feelings. It also fosters a culture of respect.

List Of Active Listening Exercises that Will Change Your Life.

  • Mindful Listening
  • Eye Contact
  • Reflective Listening
  • Non-Verbal Listening
  • Summarizing
  • Probing Questions
  • Empathetic Listening
  • Active Silence
  • Mindful Feedback
  • Conversation Mapping
  • Role Playing
  • Active Listening with Technology
  • Listening to Music
  • Listening to Nature
  • Storytelling
  • Play a drawing game
  • 3-minute vacation
  • The three whys
  • Group Active Listening Exercises
  • Talk to an absent-minded listener.

Active Listening Exercises that Will Change Your Life

1. Mindful Listening

Mindful listening is a way of listening without judgment, criticism, or interruption. Mindful listening is a type of active listening where you pay attention to what the other person shares while honoring both your needs. It involves being aware of your own needs and giving them your full attention so that you can take in all the speaker’s messages. This helps to remain judgment free in a conversation.

2. Eye Contact

Making eye contact encourages both parties to pay attention to the discussion and read each other’s expressions, which enhances comprehension and communication. To practice eye contact during conversations you need to make eye contact before you start talking. Before you utter your first word, make eye contact.

3. Reflective Listening

Reflective listening is listening to and understanding another person’s communication, letting them know they are being heard and understood. You can develop reflective listening by listening more than you speak. Respond to what is personal in what’s being said, rather than to impersonal, or abstract information.

Examples of reflective listening responses are “So you feel…” “It sounds like you…” “You’re wondering if…” “For you, it’s like…” Using this phrase will let the speaker know that they are being heard and understood.

4. Non-Verbal Listening

Attention attentive listening is identified by signs such as a slight slant of the head or resting the head on one hand. Reflecting/mirroring of facial expressions used by the speaker can help to show sympathy and empathy in more emotional situations.

5. Summarizing

Summarizing is an active listening skill that involves restating or paraphrasing the speaker’s main points to ensure the listener understands the message. To do this effectively, the listener should pay close attention to the speaker, identify the main ideas, and use concise language to restate them. Note that summarizing should not involve adding personal interpretations or opinions, but rather reflecting back on what the speaker has said.

6. Probing Questions

Probing questions are open-ended and subjective, allowing you to hear the information you need to understand as long as you are actively listening. It is impossible to fully resolve a problem if you don’t understand the issues first.

Here are some examples of probing questions:

  • Why do you think that is? …
  • What sort of impact do you think this will have? …
  • When have you done something like this before? …
  • What does this remind you of? …
  • How did you come to this conclusion?

7. Empathetic Listening

Empathic listening is the practice of being attentive and listening to others’ input during conversation to create an emotional connection and find similarities between experiences. Empathetic listening is a structured listening and questioning technique that can build trust and loyalty.

8. Active Silence

Active silence is an active listening technique that involves remaining silent but engaged in the conversation. It is a deliberate pause in the discussion that enables the speaker to consider what they have said or add more details. The listener shows that they are still there and interested in the conversation by maintaining attention on the speaker’s nonverbal clues and body language during active silence.

9. Mindful Feedback

Mindful feedback is an active listening skill that involves being present at the moment, being non-judgmental, and approaching situations with curiosity and openness. To give mindful feedback, the listener should actively listen to the speaker’s message, understanding their perspective and intentions.

10. Conversation Mapping

Conversation mapping is an active listening technique that visually organizes key topics and ideas discussed during a conversation. It helps to ensure all topics are covered and that the conversation stays focused on the main objectives.

11. Role Playing

Role-playing is an active listening exercise to improve communication and empathy in both personal and professional settings. It helps participants improve communication skills, build confidence, and develop stronger relationships.

12. Active Listening with Technology

Active listening with technology involves using technology to improve communication skills in remote or virtual settings. Examples are video conferencing, Recording conversations or presentations to review later.

13. Listening to Music

Listening to music can improve active listening skills and communication by paying attention to the lyrics, and emotions in the song. It can also help listeners develop empathy and build relationships by engaging in mindful listening.

14. Listening to Nature

Listening to mature can improve active listening skills and communication, reduce stress, find inspiration, and improve focus. It can also promote mental well-being and reduce stress. Mindfulness listening can help individuals develop empathy and build stronger relationships with others by engaging in the natural world.

15. Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool for communication and listening, allowing individuals to share personal stories and build empathy and understanding. Storytelling can help individuals develop active listening skills and become better communicators, promoting diversity and inclusion.

16. Play a drawing game

This exercise is a two-person exercise that can be done with friends, siblings, or even your parents. You and your partner should get a sheet containing various shapes and sit back to back to describe them. Then draw the shapes based on the answers from your friend. Both sheets should be compared to see if you accurately replicated the drawing. This exercise will show the importance of asking the right questions to gain the necessary information.

17. 3-minute vacation

The speaker talks about their dream vacation for three minutes without mentioning a destination. The listener pays attention and uses nonverbal cues to indicate interest. After 3 minutes, the speaker summarizes the key points of the speaker’s dream vacation and then guesses the destination. The speaker reviews how close the listener was to what he/she said and needed.

18. The Three Whys

This activity requires two people to listen to a speaker for one minute and ask “why” questions. The idea is to find questions that have not been answered by the speaker (the listener can do this by paying attention to the speaker) and learn how to ask relevant questions, which will provide additional information.

19. Group Active Listening Exercises

Group active listening exercises are intended to boost communication abilities and encourage direct and honest dialogue. To assist participants in becoming better listeners and more effective communicators, they can be used in workplaces, classrooms, or community organizations.

20. Talk to an absent-minded listener

The speaker should use a lot of nonverbal cues to communicate their passion, while the listener should display disinterest using nonverbal cues such as looking at a phone, yawning, gazing around the room, and leaning back in a chair. This exercise shows the importance of positive nonverbal cues from the listener to the speaker.

FAQs on Active Listening Exercises that Will change your life.

What are active listening exercises?

Active listening exercises are techniques designed for the purpose of improving listening skills and promoting effective communication.

Why is active listening important?

Active listening is important in building strong interpersonal relationships, improving communication, and resolving conflicts. it promotes better understanding. By actively listening, we can develop a deeper understanding of the thoughts and feelings of others.

Can active listening exercises be practiced in a group setting?

Yes, active listening exercises can be practiced in a group setting.


In conclusion, Active listening is a skill that can be developed through regular practice of the techniques highlighted in this article. By actively listening and understanding others, we can create a more empathetic, compassionate, and connected world.

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