A great leader and a great communicator is first and foremost a great listener.

Listening is a highly valuable skill that allows you to connect with someone immediately. People love to talk about themselves, and they love talk to someone who truly listens to what they’re saying. Listening allows you to ask questions to further the conversation, which helps you to really connect. Most people just think about what they want to say next. They listen to respond, rather than listen to what is actually being said. They just listen until they get a break to talk about what they want to say.

Are you a good listener? Or do you think you might talk too much?

Here’s a great rule of thumb: if you’re talking for more than 60 seconds and the other person hasn’t said anything, you’re talking too much.

Listening is a skill that needs to be practiced. Here are some things you can do to get better at it:

  • When talking with someone give him or her all of your attention. Turn off your phone. Shut down your computer. Limit any other possible distractions.
  • Focus completely on the person in front of you and what they are saying. If you find yourself thinking about what you want to say, bring yourself back to them and what they are talking about.
  • Be curious. Ask questions that will give you more information.
  • Summarize what the person is saying, so that they know that you are really listening.

The more you do these things the easier it becomes.

As you build your listening skills, you will also find that you are building much more. You will gain respect, trust, and companionship, all because you are a great listener.


Photo credit: woodleywonderworks / Foter / CC BY


  1. Jerri says:

    First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had
    a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your
    head prior to writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.

    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like
    the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Thanks!

    • Andrea Jones says:

      Hello Jerri,

      I believe that each writer is different. You have to find the things that work for you. I personally work things through in my head for a while first, and then when I sit down to write, it tends to flow. A lot of the time I just capture the thoughts without worrying too much about the structure, and know that I will make it better when I edit later. Perhaps you could start with the middle and come back to the beginning when you have the points fleshed out first.

      Other people I know need to write down ideas and outlines, then create a step by step structure for each article.

      You will know what works best for you. Once you find your groove, be consistent with it.

      Good luck!!


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