How can I practice active listening?

Listening well is a keystone to good communication. Start by giving the speaker your undivided attention, not multitasking on the computer or watching TV. Look at the other person, taking cues from facial expressions. Paraphrase what's been said, express the emotions you sense are at play, and encourage him or her to elaborate. A discussion isn't a contest of one-upmanship, so don't interrupt, pass judgment, criticize-or give advice, unless it's requested.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.