How To: Be A Good Listener – Active Listening

Active Listening requires that you focus on the other person.

You help them feel heard using PAC:


P = Probe and Paraphrase

A = Acknowledge and Analyze

C = Clarify actions/solutions

Probe and Paraphrase

Show the person that you are interested in what they have to say.

Encourage the speaker with short verbal responses.

Avoid interrupting, making judgments, or changing the subject.

Ask open-ended questions.

Use questions to keep the conversation on track.

Restate what you think you heard.


Acknowledge and Analyze

Acknowledge and analyze problems and issues.

Ensure that you and the speaker are in agreement.

Acknowledge the speaker’s emotions.


Clarify and Confirm Actions and Solutions

Good listeners always seek clarification and confirmation of whatever

agreements have been reached. This process ensures that each person is “on

the same page.”

Listening Responses:


To communicate understanding, interest, and acceptance

Look into the speaker’s eyes.

  • Nod approvingly.
  • Lean toward the speaker slightly.


  • “As I understand it …”
  • “What you’re saying is …”
  • “If I could summarize …”


Reflect the implication:

  • “Would that mean that …”
  • Are you saying that …”
  • “Would that help with …”

 Invite contributions:

  • “What happened then?”
  • “Can you give me an example?”
  • “Tell me more about…”

 Reflect feelings:

  • “If that happened to me, I’d be upset …”
  • “How did that make you feel?”
  • “I suppose that must make you annoyed.”
  • “That must have been satisfying.”

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