Verbal and Non-verbal Characteristics of Active Listeners

Verbal and Non-verbal Characteristics of Active Listeners


Interpersonal skills are the tools you utilize to interact and communicate with fellow employees, customers, and suppliers in an organizational environment. A trait of successful employees is having strong interpersonal skills. There are more than ten important interpersonal skills that every employee should grasp.

One important interpersonal skill is Listening Active Listening

What is Active Listening?

Active listening means the ability or habit to listen to the speaker with full concentration using all of your senses. Active Listening is an integral part of interpersonal skills. One has to develop this skill via disciplined practice, as it is not something that we are born with. Patience is the key to successful development of the active listening ability.

What are the characteristics of Active Listeners?

Active listening includes a number of verbal as well as non-verbal signs. However, all of these signs may not be a correct fit for every situation. For example, crying loudly does not fit the hilarious situation. In simple words, use of the following signs of active listening may vary in accordance with the kind of situation that is on hand.

Non Verbal Characteristics of Active Listener

Developing eye-contact and Physical posture are important qualities of any active non-verbal listener.

  • Developing eye contact

    Active listener always encourages the speaker by developing eye contact mixed with smiles or facial expression that is appropriate to the situation.

  • Physical Posture

    Physical posture is something which is also another important characteristic of an active listener. During interpersonal chat sessions, most of the active listeners tend to lean forward to some extent and show great interest in your talk.

Verbal Characteristics of an Active Listener

Apart from non-verbal characteristics, verbal characteristics are important for the development of active listening skills.

  • Remembering

    Try to remember the things or points mentioned by the speaker. If you can remember even some of them by the end of the talk that means you are a good active listener.

  • Question and answer

    Question and answer are also a good way to ensure active listening. An active listener will always question you about something from your talk. In other words, you have to question the speaker in pursuance of proving that you are actively listening to the speaker. The speaker can, on the other hand, also question you about what he or she is talking about to check to see whether you are actively listening to them or not.


Listening has been staged as an integral part of the ‘Communication Chain’. Communicating with another person is a two-way street. One needs to comprehend what the other party is stating and asking for, and this can be done by actively listening via the verbal & non-verbal characteristics that are available. With strong listening skills, one will be able to effectively communicate with the second party, and thus be in a strong position to reach their goals.


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