The Secret to Listening and Being Heard

How to Listen Attentively

Listening is a skill that can be learned and developed. Anyone can listen well, but it takes concerted effort to do it well. Listening attentively involves concentrating on what the speaker is saying, without being distracted by something else or thinking about what you will say next.

It means listening with your whole attention, rather than partially or superficially. This article will help you understand the importance of listening in any sort of relationship and how you can actively listen to others so they feel heard, understood, and appreciated.

Why is listening so important?

In fact, it is more important than talking. If you are able to listen well, the other person will usually feel understood, and you will build trust and rapport. If you can’t listen to someone, you can’t truly understand them. You also can’t learn and grow from the exchange.

How to be a good listener

  • Listen attentively;
  • Focus on and pay attention to what the other person is saying;
  • Resist the urge to interject or give your opinion too soon;
  • Silence can be helpful when you need to process what the speaker is saying;
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand, or if the other person pauses;
  • Don’t interrupt the other person;
  • Don’t multitask while the person is talking;
  • Avoid letting your mind wander;
  • Stay present and focused while the other person is talking;
  • Make eye contact and sit up straight.

Some more tips for actively listening to others

  • State your intention to actively listen to the person, so they know you are really present;
  • If you are in a conversation with someone, repeat back what they have said so they know you heard them. This shows you are actively listening and interested in what the person has to say;
  • Focus on what the person is saying, not what you think about it;
  • Try to put aside your own thoughts and feelings, as well as any judgments until the other person is done talking;
  • Ask questions to clarify what the person has said, and let the person know you would like to understand their perspective.


Everyone wants to be heard and understood, but few people know how to actively listen. Active listening is a skill that can be learned and improved upon with practice. When you actively listen, you are giving the other person your full attention. You aren’t distracted by other thoughts or activities, and you make sure to fully understand what the other person is saying. 

It is important to actively listen to everyone, not just your friends and family members. When you actively listen to your coworkers, clients, and others, you build trust and strengthen relationships.

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