In the previous post a virtual training session titled ‘Effective Listening’ was introduced. This session is aimed at giving new and firstline managers basic listening skills which are crcual for good comminucation with their team members. In this post we will explore the first learning point which is, what is effective listening?


  • Tell the delegates that:
    • The first thing we want to do is explore what effective listening is.
    • In the chat window please write down your definition of what effective listening is. Take 3-minutes to do that.
  • As they type their definitions in the chat window, read through them quietly.
  • After 3-minutes, stop them and get everyone’s attention. Now read out their definitions so everyone can hear.
  • As you read through the definitions, acknowledge the people that wrote them. For instance, you can say that, thank you very much Amy, you defined effective listening as…And Jamie, you wrote that effective listening is …thank you.
  • Next, let them know that you also have a definition to share with them.
  • Display the next slide also titled – WHAT IS EFFECTIVE LISTENING?





  • Read out the definition on the slide and tell them that:
    • Let’s explore why effective listening is important to managers.
    • I will split you into pairs to have that discussion.
    • When you get into your pairs, go to the section in your workbooks titled – WHAT IS EFFECTIVE LISTENING?
    • Read the information there and answer the question under ‘Your task’.
    • You have 5-minutes for the activity.



Effective listening gives us the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages. It helps us to understand what the other person is saying. For managers this is important because we are then able to engage with our team members appropriately and communicate effectively with them. If a manager cannot communicate effectively with team members then the possibility of managing and leading the team well is diminished.

Listening in this sense is not the same as hearing. Hearing refers to the sounds that enter your ears. It is a physical process that, provided you do not have any hearing problems, happens automatically. Hearing is passive but effective listening is an active process. It requires focus and concentrated effort, both mental and sometimes physical as well.

When listening properly, the listener should be as engaged in the process as the speaker. The phrase ‘active listening’ is used to describe this process of being fully involved.

Your task

In your pair discuss and note down your answers to the question below:

How do you think effective listening helps you as a manager to lead your team?


  • Use the ‘breakout room’ function to split them into pairs and allow them to do the activity for 5-minutes.
  • After 5-minutes stop them and bring everyone back to the main room.
  • Ask each pair to share just one thing from their discussion with you and rotate through the pairs till they have given you all their feedback.
  • When they finish giving feedback, appreciate them for giving the feedback then display the slide titled – WHY LISTENING IS IMPORTANT?





  • Tell them that, here are four reasons why listening is important for managers.
  • Read out the information to them.
  • After reading, check if they have any questions and/or comments about what has just been discussed.
  • Respond to any they have appropriately.
  • Next, move on to discuss the barriers that may prevent us from listening effectively.

In the next post we will explore possible barriers to effective listening.

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