Listening Skills – 11 Steps to Become a Good Listener

Listening Skills - 30 Thoughts for the Day Cover

I’ve just written a new book called ‘Listening Skills- 30 Thoughts For The Day.’ To download it for free please go here. Otherwise, please read my previous post as below.

Listening Skills- 11 Steps to Become a Good Listener

Some people are very good at speaking, telling their stories and being able to inspire others. But being a good listener is often more important than speaking. It gives a deeper level of understanding about someone’s situation, and helps to know what words are best to use and what words should be avoided.

Should we consider the meaning behind people’s words? Should we look beyond the vowels and the consonants to understand their body language and tone of voice to get clarity on their thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

Here’s 11 steps to improve your listening skills.

1. A good listener is attentive. They make good eye contact, don’t interrupt what the other person is saying and show an interest in what is being communicated. There’s always something incredible you can hear in anyone’s story.

2. A good listener does not look over the shoulder of the person that’s speaking, waiting for someone more interesting to come along.

3. A good listener does not check their phone or tablet in the middle of a conversation, when someone is sharing with them.

4. A good listener is not waiting for their chance to get a word in, treating the ‘period of listening’ as a pause in their ‘monologue.’ Being so focused on trying to get ones view over is insensitive and misses the real value in the conversation.

5. A good listener uses positive body language; leaning forward and showing an enthusiastic, relaxed nature. They don’t fidget, cross arms, look elsewhere or express inappropriate shock or disbelief at what’s shared.

6. A good listener does not hurry somebody, but asks good questions to guide the sharing. They guide and help shape what’s being shared, but if the other person feels cut off or squashed they’ve failed.

7. A good listener does not approach a conversation with prejudice, expecting to know what’s going to come out of the speaker’s lips. They don’t listen with a pre-formed opinion but attempt to have an open mind to what’s being communicated. It’s amazing how much time is wasted with the belief that people understand what someone means without taking the effort and time to listen.

8. A good listener cares. They show empathy for what the other person has to say. It’s genuine, authentic and comes from a place of truthful concern.

9. A good listener identifies areas of agreement with the speaker whilst avoiding the cliché statement: “I know exactly how you feel.” Because you don’t. It ends up sounding insensitive, trite or self centred. Everyone loves to be truly understood. No one likes to be patronised.

10. A good listener remembers. They remember and follow up conversations wherever possible. They treat what is shared with respect and where appropriate ongoing interaction.

11. A good listener knows how to treat what is shared with confidentiality. They are trustworthy and sensitive with information and never look to use anything that is shared for any purpose other then good.

Good speakers don’t always make the best listeners. But a speaker who knows how to be a good listener, has a profound impact on someone who simply likes the sound of their own voice. Good listeners earn the right to speak, because they are sharing more than their own experiences.

This subject of good listening has created lots of interest and I’m ranked number one in Google for this search term. As a result hundreds read this content each week. I’ve written an eBook exploring this subject in more detail. Join all those who have downloaded it for free.

The book outlines 30 Listening Skills and is designed as a collection of little thoughts you can digest each day.

Listening Skills 2

Listening Skills

Here’s a selection of some of the Listening Skills explored.

1. Eyeball to Eyeball

2. Ask Good Questions

3. You Don’t Know What They Mean

4. Two Ears One Mouth

5. Turn Your Phone Off

6. Have Open Body Language

7. Be Approachable And Non Judgemental

8. Listen In A Good Environment

9. Confidentiality

10. Have Good Motivations

11. Don’t Ask If You Don’t Want To Know

12. Note Down Points Made

13. Recognise Your Power Footprint

14. Put Down What You’re Doing

15. Understand Expectations








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3. Listening Skills – 30 Thoughts For The Day 

What have you discovered makes a good or bad listener? What approaches to you use? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below?

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18 thoughts on “Listening Skills – 11 Steps to Become a Good Listener

  1. to be a good listener is not to consciously do all those things – that would be how to pretend to be a good listener. a good listener won’t insist on eye-contact if it makes someone else uncomfortable, but will find a side-by-side situation [washing dishes? walking?] that will set them at ease. it’s also possible to say, i can’t REALLY talk/listen right now because i need to pass a message on to my wife, can i just ring that through, then you’ll have my attention etc

    • Brilliant! Couldn’t agree more with you Andy- whenever you step into here’s ’10 steps to do anything’, the danger is a formulaic approach and I would certainly echo the need that these should not be rules that you consciously follow. Instead ideas to develop into your subconscious communicational style. There’s nothing more off pointing than forced uncomfortable eye contact….which even verges slightly on the (OK invasion of space here) or the specific ‘listening skills’ when it feels like someone has been on a training session and they’re delivering what they have learnt!

      Good natural relaxed communication is what makes a difference and should never be formulaic. Thanks for highlighting this Andy….

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