Active Listening Techniques

The Active Listening Techniques listed below apply to communication in general and should be adapted to the realities, processes, and procedures of the court.
Technique Purpose Your Response Examples
  1. To convey your interest
  2. To encourage the person to keep talking
  3. To make clear you have not taken sides
arrow Don't agree or disagree
arrow Use neutral words
arrow Get all the relevant information
arrow "Can you tell me more?"
arrow"I want to get this straight."
arrow"Have you told me everything?"
Clarifying & Restating
  1. To help make clear what is being said
  2. To show you are listening and that you understand what is being said
  3. To pull together important ideas and facts
  4. To restate what the speaker has said so she/he hears it in a new way
arrow Ask questions
arrow Restate basic ideas, feelings, and facts in a simple and clear way
arrow Restate to make sure you've got it and to clear up any inconsistencies
arrow"When did this happen?"
arrowIf I understand correctly, there were two incidents, on two different days."


  1. To verify people's experience and feelings
arrow Acknowledge the value of what upsets them and their feelings
arrow Show appreciation for their efforts and actions
arrow "I understand why that would upset you."


  1. To clarify by putting together important ideas, facts, and issues
  2. To review so additional progress can be made
  3. To identify the basic underlying problem
arrow Restate major ideas and feelings
arrow Identify the central conflict in all the material presented
arrow "These seem to be the three key ideas you have expressed."