top of page

07 - Keys to Better Listening

Keys To Listening

Listening Increases Knowledge

Knowledge = Power

Hearing vs. Listening

Hearing is… sound waves

Listening is…understanding

Listening requires…. Time, Focus, Energy, Desire

So what do we do to be better listeners?   We…

  • Become aware of our listening habits

  • Want (desire) to be a better listener

  • Practice our new-found listening knowledge at every opportunity

  • Put forth effort – Be ready to be tired

  • Focus, re-focus, and re-focus (concentration) – Spare brain time

  • Become less self-oriented

  • Respect speaker and message

  • Withhold our judgment

  • Keep an open mind to the message

  • Listen for facts, key words, feelings & contentHow message is being said – (On the telephone it is harder)

  • Empathize

  • Maintain eye contact

  • Remain silent – and tolerate silence –Silence is “think” time
    “Silent” – “Listen”

  • Stop multi-tasking

  • Tell someone else to reaffirm message

  • Take notes

  • Exercise patience

Become Active Listeners

Ask Questions

  • For information

  • Probe for more details

  • Use open-ended questions

  • Ask Who, what, where, when, why, how

  • Be specific with your questions


  • “Echo” back – repeat the speaker’s thoughts to clarify

  • Summarize

Vary your responses – Be sincere

  • Verbal

  • Nonverbal (body language)

  • Posture

  • Vocal – tone

When listening avoid:

  • Defensiveness

  • Selective listening

  • Filing in the gaps

  • Emotional responses

Active Listening

  • Focus on the speaker

  • Keep an open mind

  • Tolerate silence

  • Ask questions

  • Repeat the speaker’s thoughts

  • Listen for facts and key words

Listening – Different ways to respond

  • Questioning – “Why isn’t the computer working?”

  • Paraphrasing – “It sounds like you are saying the computer will not even boot up.”

  • Empathizing – ““I agree, it is very frustrating to have the computer go down when you are trying to get a research paper completed.”

  • Supporting – “Let’s take a look at the problem.”

  • Analyzing – “What are some possible fixes?”

07 - Keys to Better Listening
bottom of page