Does Your Listening Pass The Test? 7 Things You Can Improve On Today

In our busy world ‘listening’ is becoming a casualty. Could it be we are being trained to have a very short attention span?

Maybe so.

For example…

There are ‘tweets’ – 280 characters,  which includes punctuation and spaces.

Text messages instead of talking on the phone

Facebook – ‘Like’ instead of commenting.

The trouble is not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook (or Pinterest, or Instagram etc.)

Do you know, actually know, if your friend (or relative) is going through a tough time? Hard question – are you really interested? Sometimes we are not, so be honest. Say – kindly – I don’t have the time at the moment. Or, if you are preoccupied with one of your own matters, tell the person that, rather than only half listening.

Blocks to Listening

  • You are thinking of something else
  • You don’t want to hear
  • You only hear some of what is said
  • You listen to respond, not to hear what you are being told
  • You have already concluded what they are talking about
listening ear

You want to listen and understand?

Here are those 7 things you can improve on today…

  1. Pay attention
  2. Focus on what is being said
  3. If you are unsure – ask what they mean
  4. Be patient if the person you are listening to is having difficulty explaining
  5. Try to see what they are saying from their point of view
  6. Observe the non-verbal signs – also consider the volume, tone of voice, and expression of the speaker.
  7. Be patient. Don’t assume a pause means the speaker is finished.

And another important one –
Watch your own ‘non-verbal’ response to what is being said.

It can encourage or put a person off.

1 response to listening

Listening is a skill that is vanishing.

In our busy lives we have many pressures to deal with and tend to be self-focused… or focused on our own problems.

If you have the time, take the time – to listen. You might be the only person the other feels will understand.

Listen to the crying person

During my recent stay in hospital I met other patients who only needed someone to listen. They did not need solutions or suggestions, they were inundated with those from doctors, nurses, and other staff members.

Speaking to someone who listened helped them clarify their own thoughts.

Thinking again,


How do you listen?

Do you listen

How do you listen may sound like a strange question but consider it for a moment.

listen too hear

Do we listen to hear, or to respond?


Do we listen to form an opinion, to learn something, or to reject what is being said?

Do we filter what we hear through our own opinions or beliefs? 

Listen through our own lens. Camera lens
no button to refuse to listen

Sometimes this may be the right thing to do.

On other occasions we might miss something we need to know.

Could this be why we don’t listen?

The TV ads ‘yabber’ at us, Strangers ring us up and without a pause to say who they are start trying to sell us something.

When checking Pixabay for images for this post I was surprised at how many images of Twitter there were. Even though I see they have changed the number of characters allowed per tweet from 140 to 280 ‘characters’ … ‘characters’ includes spaces and punctuation. Another option for images was Facebook. Is that how we communicate now? Are we trained to communicating with two sentences, or a ‘like’ on Facebook?

There is an ad on TV and it seems to be aimed at preventing suicide – it’s about talking and listening. (It’s a very well-put-together ad.) My question is would we hear the need… always supposing the person had the courage to voice their feelings?

Busy, Busy, Busy

Is it possible that some of the time we start off listening then our minds drift away on to a mental list of things we have to do?

I have lived through the difference in our society.

People used to visit each other’s homes for morning coffee. They would sit and listen to holiday stories, children’s achievements and so on. Now our lives are lived at a much faster pace with more demands. In most two-parent families both work. If not, there might be children to take to various sports or activities.

Listening is a skill

Listening requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said.

It is also time-consuming.

Which is probably why it is not a skill that is much practiced these days.

More tbinking