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8 ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS & BEING A GREAT LISTENER – If there is one thing common for all the truly successful people in the world, it’s because they are a great listener. Do you find it funny when someone says “I hear you”? Hearing is completely different to listening to them. When you listen, you are taking information in, processing it, learning it and then applying it to your decision making.

What is essential to building great wealth is being a good listener because there are consequences of not listening. It can be a disaster for your finances like losing a client or misunderstanding a customer’s concerns and so on.

People can fool themselves into thinking that they’re great listeners. But based on a global study, people are also distracted and are multitasking at the same time. Usually, when an average person is done talking to someone, he remembers only about half of what he has actually heard, even if he thinks he was listening.

Being a great listener is difficult because your mind is always in a rush, your focus is always moving between the past and the future like everybody else unconsciously, while being held up with anxieties, overthinking and worries. But fear not, there is a skill that is easy to learn and perfect. What is it?

It’s called ACTIVE LISTENING. This is how it works.

Listening well is a reward you give to whoever you are talking to. It makes them feel they are respected, valued, put at a high regard and it makes you better informed. Here are the 8 keys to ACTIVE LISTENING so you can be a great listener.

  • Show that you are listening by nodding, showing agreement, saying words like “I follow” or “I understand”. Do not be like Gary Vaynerchuk where he loves to interrupt whoever he is talking to. For whatever reason he explains why he does it is just plain inexcusable. I love Gary for all that he stand for but interrupting people when they talk, especially if they have a great point, is unacceptable.
  • When someone is speaking, stop planning in your head what you want to say in response and just hear the other person. When you think what you will say while they are still talking, you are missing out half of their point.
  • Be in the moment. Be present in the conversation by sitting or standing still when listening to others. Put your phone away (it’s a no-no to put your phone on the table when in a meeting, unless it’s used to take down notes or record it) and look at the other person’s face when they speak. Close your eyes as you listen to them while on the phone. Look at the computer screen as you listen to them on a video conference. When it’s your time to talk, look at the camera lens, not on the screen.
  • When they’re done speaking, pause and take all in what they’ve said.
  • Before you give your justifications or answers, discuss and agree that you’re both on the same page.
  • Show yourself and them that you clearly understood what they said. Summarize back to them what you heard them say in a nutshell.
  • You can ask clarifying questions to make sure what you think you heard is actually what the other person was talking about. This is key when there are emotions involved and someone’s words may not be accurate, objective or clear to you.
  • You may write down notes of what was discussed, but not word for word. You can email the other person you are talking to a summary to ensure that you are practicing active listening.

    I’ve been in to many conversations with people who look at me and seem to understand what I was saying, but in reality, they are just staring into blank space. Get them to acknowledge what you’re message was. I have a habit of saying this phrase when I make a long point “Does that make sense to you?” and when they agree, that’s when I try to continue. Otherwise, I would have to slow down a bit to the person’s level of active listening skills. Be aware that not everyone is a great listener, and what would be worse if you both are not great at listening. It would be a complete waste of time and effort to do so. And that is how it is with being a great listener.

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What people talk 84 Comments

January 23, 2021 rhona

Being a good listener actually attracts people and the opportunities that come with them to you. Everyone likes talking with someone who makes them feel heard. The more people who are willing to speak with you, open up with you, the more opportunities will come your way.

January 23, 2021 Poging Pinoy

The more you listen you realise that not only you become a better problem solver but also the solutions are even given to you. It is not about listening to the words that are thrown at you, it is about understanding their meaning, how they are emotionally charged, the implications and above all: what they are transmitting.

Listening skills can help on a daily basis on any occasion. It can help improve your social skills, your family relationships or even at the workplace.

February 5, 2021 Andrea

Effective communication can make you an effective leader and success can come much easier. Communication is significant to build resilience and it also maintains balance in different aspect of your life. Communication is the base of almost everything in life. In order to make someone else understand you, it is very important to be a confident and efficient communicator. There will be fewer chances of misunderstanding if there is a clear and crisp communication. However, in order to become an effective communicator, you need to be a good listener. Many situations come in the daily life which needs communication; otherwise, they can become extremely complicated.

February 5, 2021 Andrea

If you are not a good listener, you won’t be able to understand the point of view of another person. There are very few situations when you can consider just talking from your end. However, most situations require effective listening skills. We really need to understand the importance of listening at a broader level. Most of the people generally avoid the skill of listening. Though, communication is never complete process without being a good listener and alone being a good speaker.

February 5, 2021 Joseph Santos

Listening is important part of any conversation. It helps to better understand the view point of the other party or the speaker. More than half of the conversation or communication is paying attention to and understanding the other side. Also, communication is the basis of any relationship. Active and effective listening helps with communicating and as a result, leads to better relationships and friendships.

February 5, 2021 Nigel

Being a good listener leads to a more complete day-to-day life. A good listener always comes across as a wise person, who can understand and empathize with others. The good listening skills leads to more meaningful relations and less frustrating situations in our daily life.

February 5, 2021 Nigel

Good listening skills helps with resolving issues. Many of the problems can be solved by understanding the viewpoints of everybody involved.

February 5, 2021 Jerome

I think that being a good listener at work-place is very important. It helps establish positive working relationships with bosses, clients, as well as colleagues at work. Good listening can helps us establish a good image and help separate us from average contributors.

February 5, 2021 Aldwin

A good listening skill lead to many positive outcome. It’s irrelevant how many languages a person speak but if that person is unable to listen and understand what is being said he/she will not be able to communicate back

The listener needs to be on the same wavelength as the speaker; to have the meeting of the mind

A good listener would usually have a lot of patience and understanding

February 5, 2021 Aldwin

I believe also that listening is an art. In fact, it is a type of mindfulness meditation. When you are listening to someone, you must not have any image of the person, that is you must not let the past to intrude. As if you are listening to a new person intently, and at the same time you are listening to yourself for any reaction to crop up. Your mind should be silent. Then you realize what the person is really trying to convey.

February 22, 2021 Andrea

Keep an open mind.. Listen without judging the other person or mentally criticizing the things she tells you. If what she says alarms you, go ahead and feel alarmed, but don’t say to yourself, “Well, that was a stupid move.” As soon as you indulge in judgmental bemusements, you’ve compromised your effectiveness as a listener.

Listen without jumping to conclusions. Remember that the speaker is using language to represent the thoughts and feelings inside her brain. You don’t know what those thoughts and feelings are and the only way you’ll find out is by listening.

February 22, 2021 Andrea

Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
Allow your mind to create a mental model of the information being communicated. Whether a literal picture, or an arrangement of abstract concepts, your brain will do the necessary work if you stay focused, with senses fully alert. When listening for long stretches, concentrate on, and remember, key words and phrases.

When it’s your turn to listen, don’t spend the time planning what to say next. You can’t rehearse and listen at the same time. Think only about what the other person is saying.

February 22, 2021 Andrea

Finally, concentrate on what is being said, even if it bores you. If your thoughts start to wander, immediately force yourself to refocus.

February 22, 2021 Tony

When you don’t understand something, of course you should ask the speaker to explain it to you. But rather than interrupt, wait until the speaker pauses. Then say something like, “Back up a second. I didn’t understand what you just said about…”

February 22, 2021 Edward

Good listening is much more than being silent while the other person talks. To the contrary, people perceive the best listeners to be those who periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight. These questions gently challenge old assumptions, but do so in a constructive way. Sitting there silently nodding does not provide sure evidence that a person is listening, but asking a good question tells the speaker the listener has not only heard what was said, but that they comprehended it well enough to want additional information. Good listening was consistently seen as a two-way dialog, rather than a one-way “speaker versus hearer” interaction. The best conversations were active.

February 22, 2021 Edward

Good listening included interactions that build a person’s self-esteem. The best listeners made the conversation a positive experience for the other party, which doesn’t happen when the listener is passive (or, for that matter, critical!). Good listeners made the other person feel supported and conveyed confidence in them. Good listening was characterized by the creation of a safe environment in which issues and differences could be discussed openly.

February 22, 2021 Edward

Good listening was seen as a cooperative conversation. In these interactions, feedback flowed smoothly in both directions with neither party becoming defensive about comments the other made. By contrast, poor listeners were seen as competitive — as listening only to identify errors in reasoning or logic, using their silence as a chance to prepare their next response. That might make you an excellent debater, but it doesn’t make you a good listener. Good listeners may challenge assumptions and disagree, but the person being listened to feels the listener is trying to help, not wanting to win an argument.

February 22, 2021 Genesis

Good listeners go into conversations without any expectations. They’re not attached to a certain outcome, so they’re not going to steer the conversation any way purposefully. Rather, they let the speaker guide the interaction and respond based on how they feel in the current moment. They don’t have a higher initiative, but rather let the conversation flow where it needs to go.

February 22, 2021 James Santos

Good listeners aren’t worried about getting their say in. Instead, they’re focused on what the speaker’s saying and respond when necessary. Because they don’t interrupt or have expectations of what to say, they respond organically and appropriately. They don’t aim to dominate the conversation, but rather try to listen the same amount or even more than they verbally contribute.

February 22, 2021 James Santos

Great listeners don’t interrupt and wait until the speaker’s finished with that they have to say. Imagine all that someone has to say fills up an imaginary personal balloon. Listeners don’t wait until the speaker pauses but rather until they’ve emptied “their balloon.” This means they encourage them to say all that they have to rather than rushing to finish the conversation.

March 6, 2021 Dwayne

Listen with no judgments. And when you do talk, be honest with yourself about what’s really motivating you to say what you’re about to say. There is a useful acronym to keep in mind when you’re talking to someone: W.A.I.T., which stands for “Why Am I Talking?”

March 6, 2021 Redido

“If we ever finish a conversation and learned nothing surprising, we weren’t really listening.”

March 8, 2021 Anton

Many may not listen that well because they think they don’t get much out of it personally.

But the better you listen, the better they will listen to you. And the better and deeper the relationship will be.

If you focus on understanding him or her and on giving value based on that then you’ll get the same thing back.

March 8, 2021 Dwayne

Browsing the internet on your phone or your computer while trying to listen usually leads missing some part of the conversation and to the person talking feeling like he or she is not listened to.

So put that phone down while listening if you don’t need it to check something or write something down as a part of the conversation.

March 8, 2021 Nigel

Ask instead of trying to mind-read.

Reading someone’s mind is quite difficult. Most of the time impossible. Still, so many of us have tried to do it and started conversations based on that too many times.

So when you feel an impulse to assume and mind-read stop that and start being curious and ask open-ended questions.

Going for this kind of question instead of the ones where the other person can just answer a yes or a no will help him/her to open up and to start explaining and sharing what is going on.

March 8, 2021 Edward

Being a good listener can help you to see the world through the eyes of others. It enriches your understanding and expands your capacity for empathy. It also increases your contact with the outside world by helping you improve your communication skills. Good listening skills can provide you with a deeper level of understanding about someone’s situation, and helps to know what words are best to use or which words to avoid. As simple as listening (and acknowledging) may seem, doing it well, particularly when disagreements arise, takes sincere effort and lots of practice

March 8, 2021 James Santos

Many people think listening means keeping quiet until it is their turn to talk. But true listening is a selfless act. Listening means giving your thoughtful attention to another person. This attention is non-judgmental, open-minded, respectful and curious.

March 16, 2021 Edward

Having effective listening skills means being able to display interest in the topic discussed and understand the information provided. In today’s society, the ability to communicate effectively is becoming increasingly important. Although the ability to speak effectively is a highly sought-after skill, developing effective listening skills is often not regarded in the same respect.

In fact, listening is just as important as speaking. Being a good listener helps solve problems, resolve conflicts, and improve relationships. In the workplace, effective listening contributes to fewer errors, less wasted time, and improved accuracy. Effective listening helps build friendships and careers.

March 16, 2021 Redido

It is difficult to talk to someone who is constantly looking around. Make sure to face the speaker, maintain eye contact, and give them your undivided attention. In Western cultures, eye contact is necessary for effective communication. Although shyness, uncertainty, or cultural taboos may inhibit eye contact, try your best to make sure the speaker knows that they have your full attention.

March 29, 2021 Mico

Being a good listener fosters meaningful relationships with those around you.

listening to others, and listening well, is important for your personal development because it allows you to expand your horizon

March 29, 2021 Edward

If you are not a good listener, you won’t be able to understand the point of view of another person. There are very few situations when you can consider just talking from your end. However, most situations require effective listening skills. We really need to understand the importance of listening at a broader level. Most of the people generally avoid the skill of listening. Though, communication is never complete process without being a good listener and alone being a good speaker.

March 29, 2021 Edward

Listening is important part of any conversation. It helps to better understand the view point of the other party or the speaker. More than half of the conversation or communication is paying attention to and understanding the other side.

March 29, 2021 James Santos

I agree, communication is the basis of any relationship. Active and effective listening helps with communicating and as a result, leads to better relationships and friendships.

March 29, 2021 Aldwin

Being a good listener is an invaluable tool to have when it comes to putting yourself out there in the employment networking world. It not only gives you a great advantage over others looking for work in the same field, but it also makes you a memorable candidate that is more likely to be recommended to others if that first interview doesn’t work out. Listening and being attentive isn’t something that’s listed on your resume, it’s something you show to others through being aware that most of us just want to be heard. And being heard can be that personal brand boost you need to put you at the top of the list as a potential future employee.

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