First Time User? Enroll now.
Notice of Data Security Incident
COVID-19: Vaccine information and additional resources | Medicaid: The program is changing and you must take steps to keep your UNC Health providers
Home > Health Library > Active Listening
Active listening is a dynamic process that includes:
Hearing is different from listening. Hearing is a physical process. A person can hear what another person is saying without listening to the message.
Listening is an active process of thinking about the meaning of the message that was heard. Sometimes two people do not interpret what they hear in the same way. A person's interpretation may vary according to personal values, beliefs, and past experiences.
Active listening requires the listener to check with the speaker to make sure that the message is interpreted in the way it was intended. To listen actively, a person needs to pay attention to the behaviors and tone of the speaker.
Active listening takes practice. When you want to actively listen to someone:
When actively listening to a teen, it is important to understand that teens often think others are watching and judging them. They may need reassurance that you are listening and that you are not judging them. It is also important to be genuine with teens. They can spot an insincere adult. Do not try to be a buddy with a teen. Teens do not like it when adults in their lives try to act like teens themselves.
When listening to teens, pay close attention to how the teen is describing the situation. Make a mental note if you think he or she does not understand what is happening. When the timing seems right, clarify any misunderstandings the teen has about the situation.
Current as of:
March 17, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineGayle E. Stauffer, RN - Registered NurseKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: March 17, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Gayle E. Stauffer, RN - Registered Nurse & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.