The Importance Of Listening In Life


Desire To Understand

One can gauge the importance of listening by taking stock of the Human Condition. Where we have peace, harmony, prosperity, and technical advancement, we can readily find effective listening and communication.

If I was compelled to decide what the most important thing Humans could do – it would be to listen

Where discord reigns, at whatever level, from between individuals to between Nations, effective listening and communication remains starkly absent.

The art of listening begins with the desire to understand another Human.

From any progressive perspective one can imagine, where the goal is to improve the Human condition – meaning anything Good – the importance of listening must take top billing.

Listening to communicate is fundamental to progress and advancement.

Without language and the ability to listen to communicate, we would have no tools beyond the simple implements our fellow Animals have access to. Neither would we have the untold benefits the myriad tools at our disposal have so far delivered - because at times we choose to listen effectively.


Denying Ourselves

We ironically admire the ingenious use our fellow travelers put simple implements to. Yet with all the evidence of the benefits of understanding our fellow Human, as a common practice, we still commit the cardinal sin of not listening attentively . . .

Almost to a person, we tend to believe that others understand what we say - perfectly

By not listening, we are denying ourselves one of Nature’s greatest Gifts, and creating obstacles to our own advancement that should never exist.

Much of this neglect to appreciate the importance of listening stems from two erroneous perceptions . . .

  • One - Most of us believe we are good listeners, preferring to believe if there is a problem, it lies with the other guy
  • Two – We tend to believe that others immediately understand whatever we may utter. With no need to elaborate. If the other party does not understand, well, the poor fellow is just not very bright

Genuine Communication rarely takes place where these two obstacles exist. One walks away from such a meeting dissatisfied, often feeling resentful. Setting the scene for a reversal of roles if there is another encounter, creating a tit for tat environment.

Hence the intrinsic necessity of a strong desire to understand each other.


Purposeful Action

From the perspective of Personal Development, the type of listening we are most interested in is empathetic - or the same thing, empathic - listening that achieves a purpose. In other words, intelligent effective listening. Small talk has it’s place, but it has little to do with communication.

Excellent listening skills are complementary to cooperation, enabling us to execute our lives, careers and relationships in a satisfying flow. Listening skills are even more crucial to collaboration, helping to maintain the harmony essential to outstanding shared creativity.


Amazing Ease

Effective listening is a shared function. All parties involved must take part in shaping the end result to everyone’s satisfaction.

It is not necessary to agree, but we refuse to listen at our peril

The importance of listening can be recognized by the amazing ease and smoothness – and productive speed - Humans can work together with, when two or more people who possess and practice effective listening skills, get together to achieve a given result.

A major reason for this happy state of affairs is that attentive listeners understand the importance of listening, and do not suffer the frustrations individuals with little or no developed ability to listen, constantly face.

Or worse, when these unknowing souls refuse to acknowledge the importance of listening, or use refusal to listen as a vindictive weapon.

A weapon’s only use is destructive. So true is it - as we sow, so shall we reap.

Attentive listeners can expect a happy state of affairs. Non attentive listeners can expect an unhappy state of affairs. The immutable Laws of Nature are at work when we attempt, or refuse, to communicate. We ignore Nature at our peril.

Becoming a better listener is to a great degree a matter of changing our habits.


Major Ways We Communicate

  • Listening
  • Talking
  • Tone Of Voice
  • Body Language
  • Reading
  • Writing

Major Ways We Block Communication

Difficulties in acquiring listening skill will be encountered while ever listening blocks interfere with communication. Some of the major ways we cripple communication, whether deliberate or unintentional are:

The inability to listen can stem from a mind in turmoil
  • Judgmentalism – The tendency to judge harshly to our own standards and beliefs - whether right or wrong
  • Preconception – Deciding in advance - without evidence - what the speaker means
  • Prejudice – Similar to Preconception with the added weakness of unfounded bias
  • Assumption - Also similar to preconception - we know without requiring clarification what the speaker means
  • Lackadaisical Attitude – Simply could not care less
  • Argumentative Attitude – Polar opposite to Communicative Attitude - this is the very best way to alienate a speaker and lose their support. It is possibly the most common problem Humans experience.

These barriers to effective listening carry grave consequences to a situation or relationship. It is far from an exhaustive list and should include anything that stymies Humans from understanding each other. For instance, boredom, or obsession with always being right.

Listening skill and communication is the backbone of Personal Development. Overcoming listening problems takes on a life of it’s own once the fundamentals of listening are grasped and acted upon.


Hallmarks Of One Who Understands The Importance Of Listening

The importance of listening can be neither overstated nor overrated

  • Empathy
  • Ready Comprehension
  • Feedback and Clarification
  • Communicative Attitude
  • Bridge Building

Collect Your Dues

We owe it to ourself to improve our listening skills. Our listening ability has a pivotal impact on our relationships, our career, and our adeptness to navigate life in a wholly competent manner.

We all want the other parties to listen. Personal Development is the most influential thing you can do for oneself. Listening to another is the next most influential thing you can do. Listening expands our mind.

It is from this foundation of an expanding mind that one can confidently work towards achieving their dreams and positively influence whatever matter is important to them.

The Importance Of Listening Rocks!

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We are all the same - except for one darn thing - we are all different

Irish Proverb


NASA - Lockheed Martin experimental supersonic passenger aircraft

















I count no man much because he cows or silences me, any fool can do that, But if his conversation enriches or rejoices me I must reckon him wise