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Trusted Advisor

By John Airey

A set of skills and practices to help you utilise the concept of 'Trusted Advisor'

John Airey

John Airey

Senior Technology Consultant
Trusted Advisor: Part 2


5 Levels of Listening

Effective communication is largely based on listening. There are five levels of listening:

We’re aiming for Active and Empathetic listening as Trusted Advisors. With the real goal being to understand the other persons goals and motivations, to feel from their point of view.

Active listening is about picking up both the content and the emotion behind what is being said. Good listeners reflect this back through tone and posture.

Reflecting back the speaker’s thoughts and asking for clarification is a great way of actively listening.

Paraphrasing at natural intervals and asking for clarification of salient points lets a speaker know you are listening or attempting to understand.

The below is a summary of good active listening:


How can you tell when someone is listening to you at each of the five levels? What attitudes and behaviours, verbal and non-verbal, do you observe?

Listening Do’s and Don’ts

The below summarises some quick tips on what good listeners do and don’t do.

Active Listening Exercise

The attached handout is a simple exercise you can do in groups to test each-others active listening skills.

Trusted Advisor - Active Listening