ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why It’s Important to Be a Good Listener

Updated on October 15, 2018
Laura335 profile image

I am the author of three middle grade children's books, and I blog on the side. My favorite topics are movies, writing, and pop culture.

Source

Introduction

People do a lot of talking. They feel the need to share their every thought, especially online, when they are not necessarily talking but still communicating. Sometimes people forget that communication goes both ways. Somebody needs to hear what is being said.

I’ve come across many talkers in my life but very few listeners. I’m not talking about fake listening, the polite acknowledgement of someone’s thoughts. A true listener not only takes it all in, but they use it to respond either verbally or non-verbally to what the other person is saying. A good conversation includes both participants taking in what is being said and responding back in a thoughtful, engaging way.

Source

Advantages to Listening

There are many benefits to being a good listener.

  • Listeners have a more balanced perspective of the world. They hear two sides of a story and consider them both. The world is not in black and white, and they don’t always have a definitive answer or opinion. Every perspective matters.
  • They are good gift givers. They know people’s changing interests, and they pick up on ideas about what people want or need. They can even come up with ideas for gifts that people may like but not even know they wanted. When people say that "it’s the thought that counts,” this is what they mean.
  • They are better able to interpret people. Taking the time to listen to someone gives them an idea of their underlying mindset and observe their body language. They know what will anger, excite, or sadden a person. They are rarely caught off guard by others’ emotions.
  • Listening inspires creativity. When writers and artists are searching for a new idea, listening to others really helps. To hear about other people's lives, perspectives, worries, successes, and interests can be the muse that jump starts their next project.
  • Listeners are less selfish. People obsessed with their own problems, concerns, and needs throws them into a self-absorbed rut. Listening to others’ problems takes the focus off of their own and teaches them how to problem solve.
  • They’re better able to keep arguments from getting out of hand. Listeners are better able to read people and can help prevent arguments and misunderstandings. They know what subjects and tones to avoid.
  • They have a better memory. People who pay attention to what is going on around them absorbs details which stick in their mind. It gives them a different perspective of a moment because they see a situation from multiple viewpoints through the filter of their own perspective.
  • Listeners understand directions better. They are the ones taking notes while instructions are being explained when others are anticipating starting the task. They are there to provide answers when the non-listeners have a question that was already answered.


Source

Balance

Despite these advantages, it is not always easy to be a good listener. Talkers seek them out like a rare item, and when they find a good listener, they tend to go haywire in expressing their every thought to them. Sometimes they forget to leave room in the conversation for the listener to share their own thoughts or even respond at all.

Sometimes the conversation isn't interesting to a listener. A person can drone on about their favorite topics, assuming that everyone is as passionate about them as they are. This isn't always the case, and listeners are usually too polite to change the subject, don't know how to, or can't get a word in even if they do. When this happens, even the best listeners tend to tune out after awhile, and the talker may as well be talking to themselves.

Listeners tend to be overburdened with the problems of others. They can dwell on these problems, and many times they are issues that cannot be fixed, at least by the listener. Listeners have to learn how to listen to problems, give advice, and not take the problem home with them.

Listeners can also be made to feel that their problems and opinions don't matter. Being a good listener doesn't mean that you don't have good ideas or valid emotions and experiences to share. They just need to find another person willing to listen. When two good listeners come together, they can create balanced, productive, and ultimately enjoyable conversations.

Whether you are listening or talking, balance is the key to any type of communication. You have to do a little of both and be aware of how much you are doing of each. That's not to say that all communication should be analyzed and scored for content and quality. It's just something to keep in the back of your head while engaging with others.


Conclusion

Think of the last conversation that you had.

What was it about?

When was the last time that you were the listener instead of the speaker?

How many evened out conversations have you had where you were able to both talk and listen?

Leave your comments below!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 

      2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Sound advice Laura. Listening's a gift, a skill. Captains of industry practice it to their profit, college dons use it to assess the high-flyers, police use it to sort the nutcases from the hard-cases. We learn more from flapping our ears.

      Shame there aren't enough listeners. Too many talkers.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      I make the effort to be a good listener because I hate it when people do not listen. It upsets me when I hear someone take over the conversation to tell their own unsolicited story. Thanks for emphasizing the importance of listening.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com 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: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    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 googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    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)
    Marketing
    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.
    Statistics
    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)