Two boys reading

Chances are you probably don’t want to listen to someone’s viewpoints if you disagree with them. However, listening to something you disagree with is important for several reasons.

You Learn Something New
When you take time to listen to someone else’s viewpoints, you’re exposed to thoughts you may not have considered before. This also expands your mind to be more accepting of new thoughts, which could contribute to your future success.

You Develop Patience
Just the practice of listening to others more often helps you to develop patience. If you find you’re struggling, try to remember you’re listening to learn something new. You can also listen with the intent to ask questions, which will help you focus more carefully on the words the other person is saying.

Butterflies and geeseYou Expand Your Network
People feel very important and better about themselves when others listen to what they have to say. And this can lead to making new friends or connections, which can help you on your future path to success. After all, you never know when you may need the advice or expertise of someone in a certain field or area of study. Besides, expanding your network is always a good idea.

So, what makes someone a good listener?

The Top 5 Traits of a Good Listener
If you want to become a good listener, there are certain traits and skills you need to learn:

  1. When you’re listening to someone, your goal is to understand their point of view. Listen to everything they say before forming your own opinion, and remember that you don’t necessarily have to agree with them. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on various topics.
  2. Pay attention, otherwise you’ll miss out on important information. Always be aware of what’s going on with the person who is speaking, and don’t forget to pay attention to your surroundings.
  3. Making eye contact with the person who is speaking shows them that you are interested and paying attention. If you start looking around, you’re giving them the impression that you’re not interested or you’re bored.
  4. Try to see their point of view and ask yourself if they might be right.
  5. Allow the person to finish talking. This takes a little patience, but it can be helpful for both sides. First, the person talking can vent their opinions or frustrations. Secondly, it helps you, the listener, to fully understand the issue at hand.

Woman thinkingA good listener thinks before responding. It’s perfectly normal to want to respond
quickly, but stop yourself and think before you speak! Many of us have the bad habit of speaking before we think, which can lead to awkward or difficult situations. Again, ask yourself if this person might be correct in their way of thinking.

Sometimes it can be hard to stay focused on a person, and it’s normal to want to look away. If you find yourself doing this, try nodding to the person or making direct eye contact with them. This signals to them that you’re paying attention. If you really need to look away for a second, then muffle a cough behind your hand!

Other tips you may want to use to show that you are paying attention include:

  • Saying the person’s name now and again
  • Using facial expressions
  • Using body language

If you make an effort to put these traits into play consistently, you’ll be a much better listener.

The Journey Within: The Importance of Listening
Skip to content