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10 Signs On How To Recognize a Good Listener

Updated on February 6, 2011

Do You Know What To Look For?

A good listener is worth their weight in gold and one of the most important foundations in a relationship is for both partners to be good listeners.

So whether you are already in a relationship and are looking for a good listener to use as a role model or if you are looking for the love of your life and one of your criteria is someone who is a good listener, it is always good to be able to recognize a good listener. So the following are ten signs of a good listener:

You Can Feel That The Listener Is Fully Present And In the Moment With You:

You can tell the difference between someone who is fully in the moment with you versus someone who has their mind on something else is when you are talking to the unfocused person you will get an urge to rush through what you are saying versus when you are with a person who is totally focused on you, you will feel at home and that you have all the time in the world to say what you have to say. With a person who is totally focused on you, you will almost feel like sighing because you feel so supported and because you feel like you are truly the centre of their attention.

The Listener Will Keep Eye Contact With You:

The listener will keep constant eye contact with you, only looking away on occasion to prevent staring or awkwardness.

The Listener Will Nod, Smile And Give You Auditory Feedback:

A good listener will nod, smile and give you auditory feedback such as "Mm hum", "Yeah" "I see" or "No, really?" in a sincere and interested way to encourage you to continue and to indicate that they are listening.

The Listener Will Encourage You To Continue Talking:

As you are talking, they will encourage you to continue talking. For example they will say things like "That's really interesting" or "I find that interesting, please continue "or "I'd like to hear more."

The Listener Will Parrot Back What You Are Saying When Appropriate:

Every once in a while, a good listener will parrot back what you say to indicate they are paying attention and that they are right in your story with you.

The Listener Will Only Finish Your Sentence When Appropriate:

A good listener will only finish your sentence when the timing is right, not to try to rush you through your story or to help you out when you are at a loss of words, but to show that they are on the same wavelength as you.

The Listener Goes By the 80% Listening, 20% Talking Rule:

A good listener knows that the art of being a good listener (whether that is because they just intuitively know or because they are actually aware of the rule) will listen approximately 80% of the time during the course of the conversation and spend only 20% of the conversation talking.

The Listener Will Keep The Conversation Focused on Your Topic of Discussion:

There is nothing more annoying than to open a conversation with someone and they change the topic on you in the middle of what you are trying to express. This often happens when the person gives you an example about themselves to show that they understand what you are saying but then they keep going with their example or take the opportunity while the attention is on themselves to switch topics. A good listener if they feel the need to use an example to back up what you were saying will keep it short and will return the conversation back to what you were talking about.

The Listener Will Ask You Thoughtful and Open-ended Questions About What You Are Talking About:

A good listener will ask you thoughtful questions that will lead you into opening up into further detail about your topic of discussion. For example, they may say something like " So you work in the Marketing Department, tell me about some of the duties that you are in charge of or what specifically are in you charge of or what aspects of your job do you love?"

The Listener Knows How to Empathize With You:

When a good listener feeds back how you are feeling, their description of the feeling or emotion will actually match how you are feeling. If they are off, they are dedicated to finding out how you are truly feeling versus throwing out a bunch of descriptions of how you are feeling in hopes of eventually guessing the correct feeling or emotion.

If you recognize a good listener in your life, tell them you how much you appreciate them. If you are still looking for a good listener to come into you life, it is both worth the search and the wait, because not only will they create a wonderful communication foundation for your relationship, they will always make you feel special and supported in expressing yourself.


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      DoveFreexrolo 23 months ago

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      Chieglili 4 years ago

      I helpful to obtain on top of lifestyle although as of late I've truly established a weight.

    • profile image

      TouNiDan 5 years ago


    • profile image

      calebstorkey 5 years ago

      Neat- I'd never come across the 80/20 rule applied to listening, but that would make good sense.

      Also love the reference to open ended questions. It's a tough one to realise how quickly I can go back to poor habits of listening, especially when life is busy and too rushed.

      I dropped a few other points on this subject here

      I missed out the focus that the listener will keep the conversation on your topic. Thanks for that point.

      Enjoyed reading this and look forward to more of the same! Thanks

    • profile image

      Philips bright 5 years ago

      Wow! This is so remarkable, i never knew that i can be a good listener like this, until the day i read the writte up of mr. Writermel. infact you are the messiah of my listning. Thanks for your rescue.

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      jackey oumah 5 years ago

      after kuread hii article nmediscover sijakuwa listener poa ju ka na ongea na mtu-chaly au dem- simface. sijajua kwa nini na hiyo imenicoz sana hata sina dem @ 19

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      This is really great "Sign of a Good listener"

    • profile image

      vivian 6 years ago

      I now discover that I am not a good listener, this article will really help me to become one.

    • profile image

      vivian 6 years ago

      I now discover that I am not a good listener, this article will really help me to become one.

    • profile image

      SanXuary 6 years ago

      The 80 to 20 rule is thrown out if you our a woman right? someone has to talk 80 percent somewhere or the equation does not add up. The test is feed back with out it the conversation was never completed but feed back can be returned at another time.

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      naturalsolutions 6 years ago

      I can say after i read this that i am perfectly a good Listener spend their whole time in just listening. Even they have more schedule they will cancel it just to listen to someone. For me, good listener is better than the good adviser. Listener only wants the person let out their feelings in the most simple but i'm pretty sure long conversation way but an adviser gives an advice in just a single idea and information without knowing the real story and unawareness on what things will happen after their advice.

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      william 6 years ago

      Great learning

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      Rahul 6 years ago

      Very nicely written and cover all the points

      keep writing articles like this

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      Nthabiseng 6 years ago

      what an informative article.I've just that I thought I was brilliant speaker but how brilliiant wil I be if i'm not able to listen to others.thank you so much

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      Mona 7 years ago

      a good listener does not necessarily have to talk less.

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      Nardos 7 years ago

      I had wanna knw aw z gud listener aw has 2 be? It's help me.

    • profile image

      Tejashree 7 years ago provide all this that i could make my presentation

    • profile image

      ishrat 7 years ago

      its agreat help for me as i felt it lacking in wl b highly appreciated if u guide for wen to speak and wen to b quiet.

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      tesfahun 7 years ago

      it very good to be a good listener and am trying to be it but i failed so many times ...i won't give up anyhow thanks for giving me this article.

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      Sherry 7 years ago

      To be a good listener, one needs to understand the unstated intention of the speaker: to vent, to seekin advice, to chat up a relationship, to confirm their instinct or sometimes bad behavior, etc.? In my experience, many people just want an audience so that they can listen to themselves. So, listen attentively and nod knowingly, and if that is too much of an ordeal, stick it out to the end, but turn off the cell afterwards so that you will be out of reach for a while.

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      cookie 7 years ago

      gud article. it vil help in my assignment

    • profile image

      COOKIE 19 7 years ago


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      Tigasa 7 years ago

      I'd like to ask whether others think casting your eyes UP when breaking eye contact often gives the impression of disinterest?

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      Homer 7 years ago

      Thank you for the information. I really appreciate the message tht you have been post. Hope to see you soon.

    • nadiaazhar profile image

      nadiaazhar 8 years ago from kuwait

      that's so true we all need to be good at listening,it even helps in making good relationships.nice hub.

      best regards,nadia

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      vaishnavi Ragunathan 8 years ago

      really very good.....

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      Nabil 8 years ago

      Thanks! Great article. hope you wouldn't mind if I'd translate your article into Arabic, would you? cuz I believe that what you've written was such a great object and it deserves distributing. Hope to hear from you :D

    • MaryElena profile image

      MaryElena 8 years ago

      The eye contact piece is right on the money.

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 8 years ago from Tumkur

      Good article. Features are properly listedout, and explained

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      nissa 8 years ago

      This is awesome! I do all the above so that means I'm a good listener! =) But that's what I do best. I listen to people all the time. How do make people listen to my stories? My friends always cut me when I'm telling stories. =(

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      WriterMel  10 years ago

      Hi Dottie1,

      Thank you for your feedback.

      I was inspired to write the article after I discovered that I wasn't as good a listener as I thought I was. It was eye-openning, yet very good experience. It also helped me to apprecriate the people who are good listeners even more.


    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 10 years ago from MA, USA

      Good and meaningful. We all need to become better listeners. Dottie