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Active Listening: How to Be an Effective Communicator

Explore the benefits of active listening and gain the skills to successfully communicate in your personal and professional life.

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Develop your communication skills

Active listening allows you to listen to what you’re being told with an intentional effort to understand the point of view of others, without any judgement. It’s a crucial first step to help you become a good communicator.

On this one-week course, you’ll explore the different types of listening and gain key active listening skills. You’ll be able to use your skills in the workplace to unlock your team’s potential and supercharge your business, or to communicate more effectively in your personal life.

You can complete this CQ Original short course in just a few hours, meaning you can start implementing these techniques immediately.

Delve into types of listening such as passive listening

On the course, you’ll explore the different listening styles to learn how to distinguish between active listening, passive listening, competitive listening, and selective listening.

With this knowledge, you’ll discover how active listening is your ace card in your communication skills, ensuring you can set the tone for the entire conversation.

Understand how listening styles can unlock skills in the workplace

With an understanding of listening styles, you’ll learn how this can lead to developing skills in your team.

You’ll learn how everyone can pay attention, absorb the information given to them, and critically think. This means no more repetition, no more misunderstanding, and no more wasted time or money.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to make your organisation a place of effective communication.


  • Week 1

    Effective communication

    • Introduction to listening

      In this activity you'll learn what is meant by "active listening" and how people can improve their listening skills.

    • Passive listening

      This activity takes a deeper look at the definition and characteristics of passive listening.

    • Competitive listening

      This activity takes a deeper look at the definition and characteristics of competitive listening.

    • Selective listening

      This activity takes a deeper look at the definition and characteristics of selective listening.

    • Active listening

      This activity takes a deeper look at the characteristics of active listening, and explores some strategies that can help make you a more active listener.

    • Becoming an active listener

      This final activity will wrap-up all the learning from the week, giving you the chance to reflect on your own listener type and giving some concrete final tips on becoming a better listener.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Investigate the importance of active listening and the other three basic listening types.
  • Identify the key characteristics of passive listening and eliminate these habits to become a more active listener.
  • Identify the key characteristics of competitive listening and eliminate these habits to become a more active listener.
  • Identify the key characteristics of selective listening and eliminate these habits to become a more active listener.
  • Identify the key characteristics of active listening and promote these habits to become a more active listener.
  • Improve your approach to preparing for conversations or meetings to enable more active listening in yourself and in others.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in developing their communication skills.

It will be particularly useful for managers of teams who want to enhance communication in the organisation.

Effective communication skills are the superpower of the 21st Century. Thrilled to see BoxPlay tackle them.

Derek McGrath New Product and Service Value Stream Lead at The Dock

The active listening course was particularly good. I found so many nuggets on how communication impacts others. I also loved the flexibility across devices which means you can complete on the go!

Sita Toolan, Accenture Senior Innovation Lead

Who developed the course?


BoxPlay is democratizing career success by making learning a new habit and trade through creating the most compelling, relevant, and engaging streaming educational content to help with employability and career success. Our products combine education and entertainment. We create immersive, bingeable experiences with characters, narratives, and moving visuals.


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

CQ: Communication Quotient™

Based on psychology, neuroscience, and communication research, CQ: Communication Quotient™ assesses your habits and tendencies, to help you better understand who you are and how you communicate. Using tested methodologies, these programs are designed to improve essential skills and supercharge your career. Learn practical, step-by-step solutions of how to bridge your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient), leading to better conversations and relationships - at work and at home.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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