The art of listening

Listening. Really listening. It is a beautiful skill. And yet most of us tend to not listen at all, but wait for a moment to speak. I do it. I know you do it. We all do it.We get so excited about what we want to share, contribute, that we do not really pay attention to the person in front of us. What they are saying. How they are saying it. How we feel when they are saying it. What we pick up that is non-verbal, because 70% of our communication has nothing to do with words.


Listening. It has become an art. In our ever faster moving world, where Facebook replies are given in a second, tweets sent out in a few, where we rush from work meeting to travel to online communication to home to multi-tasking to… so much.

We need to slow down. And listen.

Because the things that we really want: connection, understanding, love, appreciation, being seen and heard, they all start with listening.

To your own needs. To the person in front of you. To what matters to you. To what matters to them.

It is not hard. We can all do it. The trick is that we need to take time. And slow down. And meditate – literally, as in being with what is – on whatever or whomever you choose to put your attention on.

And shut your mouth again and again every time you open it so say something snazzy like “O I know that, that happened to me once < proceeds to tell story >”, “You know what you should do? < proceeds to give advice >”. Stop it. Cut the fixing, helping, coaching, changing.

Just listen. Taken them in. What are they like? What stands out? What are they really saying? Why does it matter to them? And maybe you want to share that with them.

– What I get is that <…>  is really important to you…
– What I get about you from your share is…
– I really appreciate the way you…

Or a very simple: “Would you like to say more about this?”

Try it out. The ultimate yin in communication. Be receptive. Pause. Do not fill the gaps. Just wait. And listen.


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Coach, trainer & lover of all things human and relational. Supporting you in finding a deeper connection to yourself & others, so you can truly lead, wherever you are.

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