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Listening is an intent to "listen for meaning".

Active Listening is not just an automatic response to sounds. It requires the listeners to understand, interpret, and evaluate what they heard. Today, the ability to listen is an important skill in interpersonal communication. It improves personal relationship through reducing conflicts, strengthening cooperation, as well as fostering understanding.

When interacting, people often are not listening attentively to one another. They may be distracted, thinking about other things, or thinking about what they are going to say next (the latter case is particularly true in conflict situations or disagreements).

Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding to others. It focuses attention on the speaker. Suspending one’s own frame of reference and suspending judgment are important in order to fully attend to the speaker.
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