ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Listen Better

Updated on March 4, 2021
better listening
better listening

Most of us spend some time, at some stage, on improving or mastering the art of speaking so as to be able to get our message across to those who need to be reached or influenced. It could have been just before a school elocution contest or maybe much later before a campus interview, or while preparing for a speech to be delivered before a felicitation or some such special event. But in spite of this general attention that speaking receives, our communication continues to languish at a not so efficient level. Just look around or look back on recent events and one can see that the cost of misunderstanding and miscommunication is all too glaring – be it in the confines of the family or the school, or organization that one works for, or even the world at large.

It’s not very difficult to figure out why.

The more difficult part

While we learn to speak at an early age and spend considerable amount of time in learning, practicing and improving our speaking skills, what is totally neglected is the art of listening. This is because it is assumed that what is spoken and how it is spoken is all that is important and listening is something that can be taken for granted.

"I clearly told you what I thought about this matter, so can you say that you are not aware? Why the doubts? I was very clear!!"

"No but what you said was -"

"Don't tell me what I said - I know what I said."

Quite commonplace isn't it? That's because listening is never given its due importance. You often hear of great speakers; how often do you hear somebody say that x or y is a great listener?

All this is not surprising if we realize that listening is the more difficult part.

Speaking vs listening

How good are your speaking skills vis a vis listening skills

See results

Theories on Listening

Theories on communication start off by explaining it to be a flow of messages from the sender to a receiver, the idea being that the message should be received exactly as it was sent by the sender. Obviously, the entire flow has to be efficient and it will not suffice if the sender alone does his job and conveys his message very efficiently, in a most impressive manner. It’s equally important that we have very good receivers – listeners, who can receive the message and understand it the way it was intended. But if we look around, we don’t see a whole lot of people working to improve their listening skills. In fact, far too many people are preoccupied with hearing their own voice and there are very few willing listeners.

In Dale Carnegie’s twentieth century classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” he stressed the importance of being a listener and listed it as one of the six ways to make people like you. Carl Rogers, a well-known and influential psychologist, highlighted the importance of listening in therapy. So the importance of listening can never be over-stressed. And yet, if enough attention is not being paid, one of the reasons could be that listening is difficult.

Improving our listening skills

To start with we need to figure out how good our listening skills are and whether there is any need for improvement. There is a very simple method of doing this. Ask a friend or partner to join you in a discussion and make it a point to repeat what the other person has just said. Find out whether what you said is exactly what the other person wanted to convey. If the other person is not fully satisfied, it would mean that there is scope for improvement. If you are almost there it would mean that you have pretty good listening skills and could profit from now and then repeating this exercise. But if the other person is completely satisfied, and you repeatedly get the same result then you have special reason to celebrate, because it would be an uncommon feat performed by a top-notch listener.

Good listening skills can pay off in almost all walks of life.

In families where members have good listening skills, the harmony would be evident even when differences are being sorted out. During negotiations, intransigence can give way to compromise and solutions if there is good listening by all the parties. During sales calls, you may come across desperate men in search of listeners. In such cases, instead of pounding them with your script, it may be a better idea to turn a patient listener and allow them a free run. The end result would be beneficial to both. The man would feel a deep sense of gratitude and feeling of being understood and may willingly buy what you would have struggled to sell, while you would gain insight and be in a better position to manage the client.

Its good to learn to speak better, but it is equally if not more important to speak a little less and listen better.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)