Listening Skills


Of all the skills involved in communication, one of the most critical is the ability to listen well. It is a vital element of both our work and personal lives, but it is not a skill that is often taught.

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” –Diogenes

We can listen at a faster rate (400 words per minute) than most people speak (about 125 words per minute), which makes it pretty easy for our attention to wander to other things. Add to that the many distractions that often exist, and it is no wonder that studies show that we’re distracted or preoccupied during about 75 percent of our conversations.

Listening is focused attention. Think how well you would listen if someone was talking you through defusing a bomb! While it may not always be a matter of life or death, many mistakes are made through a lack of listening.

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” –M. Scott Peck

From the Daily Planit:

  • Practice active listening with a partner. Take turns discussing the topic “something I’m really proud of is…” First use ineffective listening, then effective listening (one minute of each)
  • Listening Skills (pdf)
  • Listening Report Card (pdf)


Other places to learn listening skills:

$ Listening Skills 101 course at Universalclass

Learn more – Communication Skills at the Sticky Wiki and at the #1 Skill Employers Want: Communication.

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in work skills
2 comments on “Listening Skills
  1. […] also: Listening Skills, and The Daily PlanIt Wiki page on communication with delicious links including listening […]

  2. […] See also The #1 Skill Employers Want and Listening Skills. […]

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