People Smart: Steps to Effective Listening

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Communication is the essential element of good relationships. Whether it is at a personal level or at a professional level, communication is key to build powerful and healthy relationships. Even though becoming a good speaker might seem like something desirable, becoming a good listener is considered by many experts as twice as important. There is an old saying that points out the importance of becoming a good listener: “There is a reason why you have two ears but only one mouth”.

The dictionary defines Listening as: giving one’s attention to a sound. But when we talk about effective communication, listening goes way beyond that. There are so many important elements related with effective listening that it could be considered a whole form of art. Below you will find some basic tips that will help you improve your listening skills:

Pay attention: Focus. Listening is about finding out what the other person has inside his mind. You cannot do that if you are thinking about something else as he speaks. Listening is not about planning the next thing you will say. It is about understanding the person you have in front of you.

Watch for interrupting: Many times we feel like “completing the phrase” before he finishes the sentence. Let him finish!

Ask gently: If there is something that you are not sure about, ask. But remember rule #1.

Be empathetic: As I told you before, Listening is about understanding the person you have in front of you, not about judging him.

Give feedback: As you listen to the other person, try rephrasing what the other person told you, so you are sure that you are understanding what he meant. And you can show him you are understanding.

The next time someone is talking to you, evaluate how well you perform at doing the things mentioned above. You will realize that you might not be as good at listening as you thought. But don’t worry! You can always practice, so one day you might become a master listener.



  • Gentle: Kind, considerate, understanding, good-natured.
  • Empathetic: Showing an ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  • Feedback: Information about reactions to a product, a person, a message, etc.


Discuss examples of good and bad listening based on your experience.


  • How good of a listener do you consider yourself?

Welcome to this activity created by Senior Advisor Mr. Huriat Santini from Narvarte Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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