Explain why it is important to respond to an individual’s reactions during communication

NOTE: Please be aware that the information on this page is a very rough draft and has not been fact-checked so should be used accordingly (taken with a pinch of salt)! However, it should (hopefully) give you some pointers and set you off in the right direction.

During the process of a conversation, an individual may react in a plethora of ways. It is important to observe and respond to these reactions to show that you are listening, keep the conversation going and prevent misunderstandings.

For example, if the individual is nodding whilst you are speaking, and clarifying what you say, it probably means that they are listening and attentive and you should carry on. If the individual looks confused, it may indicate that they do not understand and you may need to re-explain what you are saying in different words. If they are avoiding eye contact and looking in the opposite direction it may mean that they don’t like what you are saying or aren’t interested, so you may need to try a different approach or try again later.