Standard Office Procedures: # 34 - Active vs. Passive Listening, Active Listening Activities, and Other Effective Ways to Listen

There are many different ways to listen to someone, but not all are equally as effective. Active listening is the foundation to all positive, productive communication — but there is a time and place for passive listening too.

So what exactly is the difference?

Passive listening occurs whenever someone’s speaking to you while you’re distracted, either by your phone, a task, or just your own thoughts. Active listening, on the other hand, means the speaker has your undivided attention.

Active listening comes naturally to some more than others, but it's a soft skill — meaning, you can exercise those listening muscles and get better by practicing.

This week, Grace and Shannon talk about how to improve your active listening skills and why it's so important, how to determine when it's okay to passively listen, and when you should be giving someone your full attention.

Read the article that inspired this episode on the blog at

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