Listening is key to understanding what you hear. We spend more time listening than any other skill. But, listening takes practice, requires focus and takes all of our senses in order to hear and understand.

Tips for being a good listener:

  • Stop talking. Listen to what is being said. Do not interrupt, talk over or finish sentences.

  • Give your full attention. Relax. Focus on the speaker. Don’t let your mind wander from other thoughts.

  • Remove distractions. Turn the TV off. Don’t take that call. Stop reading that article. Avoid random interruptions as this disrupts how you listen.

  • Let the speaker finish. Do not jump to conclusions about what you are hearing until they are finished.

  • Finish listening before you speak. It is hard to listen if you are busy planning what you are going to say.

  • Listen to the tone. Volume, pitch and tone of voice are important. They help you understand what is truly being said.

  • Listen for main ideas. Connect the bits and pieces together so you understand the topic.

  • Watch non-verbal communication. Gestures, facial expressions and eye movements provide additional information and can reveal inconsistencies.

Listening is key to good communication and is a forgotten part of hearing!  Make sure your hearing and listening skills are up to par so you can communicate effectively.

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist and owner of Hearing Solutions in the Triangle, PLLC with over 25 years of experience. Have a few questions – she can be contacted here.   If you’re looking to check your hearing range or improve listening skills visit our online scheduling here.