Active listening skills involves both verbal and non-verbal communication in which it is characterised more by what is not done rather than what is done when speaking to anyone in general. Active listening requires the listener to give someone their free and undivided attention and provide their concentration to everything a person is trying to convey both verbally and non-verbally. Along with providing undivided attention, showing attentive body language in the form of appropriate body movement, facial expressions, eye contact, correcting posture and gestures showing involvement and engagement with patient and speaking to the person in a non-distracting environment will help immensely.
Following skills such as asking infrequent, timely and considered question as well as demonstrating attentive silences will further improve the chances of the person of opening up to the listener about what they are experiencing. Lastly, use reflective skills such as paraphrasing everything the person has said to the listener and reflect back on their feelings and content and summarize the major issues. A few things to avoid when listening to a person would be to judge, criticise, suggest solutions, give them advise, ask excessive and inappropriate questions to interrogate them as this will make the person feel that the listener are dismissing everything they are saying and will be unwilling to open up to the listener (Bolton, 1986).