Everyone Listens - What is active listening? - National Runaway Safeline

National Runaway Safeline

Everyone Listens – What is active listening?

Everyone listens. Listening is a huge part of our everyday life. We listen to colleagues and friends share information and stories. We’re listening when watching the news on TV and while being entertained during movies and videos.

Listening actively, however, is a bit different.

Active listening is when you fully concentrate on what the other person is saying and confirm your understanding of what they are trying to communicate. Learning how to actively listen can improve our relationships and, when used by our friends and families, may help us feel heard.

The National Runaway Safeline helps young people improve their communication and listening skills through the Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum. This free, interactive 14 module curriculum educates young people about alternatives to running away as well as helps them build life skills so they can resolve problems without resorting to running away or unsafe behavior.

In the Communication and Listening module of Let’s Talk, youth will find information about using active listening skills to improve communication. This module helps define different aspects of listening. Some of these definitions include:

Close-Ended Questions – These questions can be answered with a one word response. They are asked in an effort to gather factual information. For example: How old are you? Have you completed your homework already? While useful to establish facts, they may not always foster further discussion.

Open-Ended Questions – Responses to these questions tend to be more in-depth, and these questions allow the other person to expand on what may be important to them. For example: How are you feeling? What is going on?  Open-ended questions help to generate conversation and enable a person to tell their “story” or what is happening in their lives. They are a useful way to pass the conversation back to the other person, allowing you to listen actively to what is going on in their life.

Paraphrasing/Summarizing – The goal of paraphrasing is to make sure you and the other person understand each other. For example: So, you are really upset with your sister because she borrowed your new pair of shoes without asking. After paraphrasing, it is helpful to discuss what you can do about the situation. For example: How do you think you want to deal with this issue with your sister so that she knows how you feel? You can also summarize to demonstrate that you have been listening.

To download the complete Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum https://old1800runaway.wpengine.com/runaway-prevention-curriculum-sign-up/.

Share This Post

Recent Posts

Recognizing January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month

According to the United States Department of State, each year, an estimated 27.6 million people are trafficked worldwide. Despite the prevalence, there are many misconceptions about human trafficking.

Here are some of the common myths and misconceptions and clarifications about why they are inaccurate.

December 2022 Volunteer of the Month

Mallory began volunteering with NRS in 2019 as a way to make an impact in the lives of youth in crisis. Having experienced homelessness as a child, Mallory knows NRS’s mission and programs are extremely important.

October 2022 Volunteer of the Month

A Philadelphia native who today calls Chicago home, Doug has been volunteering with the National Runaway Safeline since the late 1990’s. Like many NRS volunteers, Doug found the organization while looking for opportunities to directly impact the lives of young people in need. He was intrigued by the idea of phone crisis intervention and thought volunteering with NRS would be an exciting and challenging experience.

Scroll to Top

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website. 

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the NRS website.