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Tips for being a clear speaker and an active listener


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When two people are involved in a conversation, one is sending information and the other is receiving it. For successful communication to occur, the sender must be a clear speaker and the receiver must be an active listener.

The sender should:

  • State one idea at a time.
  • State ideas simply and clearly.
  • Monitor your tone of voice and tempo.
  • Explain when appropriate.
  • Repeat if necessary (if you see ANY doubt!).
  • Encourage feedback—ask if the receiver is getting the message.
  • Read between the lines. Do your choice of words, tone, and body language all convey the same meaning?


The receiver should:

  • Listen carefully, concentrate
  • Evaluate—think and process the information
  • Provide feedback
  • Interpret the message
  • Verify the message you heard was correct


Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Accountability in Nursing: Six Strategies to Build and Maintain a Culture of Commitment. Check out our latest nursing resources here.