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Small Group Facilitation: Improving Process and Performance in Groups and Teams by Judith A. Kolb

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Active Listening

Active listening is important for yourself and for group members. So, what does this mean? Although this phrase is some times used to refer to the ability to repeat information that is given you—i.e., paraphrasing—my preferred definition as related to group work is the following:

active listening: being in the moment, paying close attention to the points the person is making and asking yourself if you understand or if you need to ask questions

Consider the difference between hearing and listening. Most of us become very skilled throughout the years at giving the impression we are listening. We can look at the speaker, nod our heads, and pay partial attention while our minds are occupied in thinking through a personal issue or ...

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