Responses for Better Listening Skills

Would you like to improve your listening and conversation skills?
Try working in a response or two starting with the following:

  • What I hear you saying is…
  • Sounds like….
  • You’re feeling….
  • You think…
  • From your perspective…..
  • What I’m hearing is that your saying...
  • It sounds like you value…
  • Could this be….
  • By that you mean…
  • It sounds like on one hand you feel_____ because you think______ and
    on the other hand you feel_______ because you think________.

Good listening is like data collecting. One lets go of bias and preconceptions, and refrain from making judgements and opinions. Responding, is clarifying and confirming  he/she is listening to what someone is saying to him.

To probe further into another is saying, try one of the following:

I’m wondering…

  • what you mean by…
  • what that means to you.
  • what have you thought of doing…
  • What have you tried before?
  • How do you usually make this kind of decision?
  • What would you like to see happen?
  • What do you think the consequences would be?
  • what scares you about…

Some years ago I took a class in “Active and Reflective Listening” for  volunteer work I was doing at the time. I use those skills, including the statements above  all the time, today — they are part of my way of conversing. I am a much better listener today.
If  use some of these in your conversations and  you can if you can  be a better listener.


About chris
I write because I'm not good at it. I share because, writing without sharing seems empty. Thus, I write and share what I think is meaningful.

6 Responses to Responses for Better Listening Skills

  1. Marian Thier says:

    These are great suggestions & would be even more helpful if linked to listening styles that we’ve identified.

  2. crayzys says:

    Very nice list of responses to show the speaker that you are listening. I cut out the phrases and have by my phone for use when conversing with people who seem upset when they call. For it is then I need the ‘specific’ phrases to encourage me to actively listen.

    When you actually really attend to those who call you you realize that what most want is a ‘listening’ ear and not advice.

    Best to you in the New Year. May your slippers be filled with blessings and may these blessings multiply into gratitude with each step.

  3. chris says:

    Thank you very much. Happy New Year to you, as well!

  4. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you need to write more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but generally people do not speak about these topics. To the next! Cheers!!

  5. Jean Sager says:

    For those who are interested there is a classic book called The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols, Ph.D, My version is copyrighted 1995. My book looks like a chef’s cookbook all marked up with tabs identifying key points. There maybe be other books but to me this classic is a continual reference.

    Listening is an Art that beautifies all relationships even the most difficult. Hard to believe this but listening enhances learning…

    Also, you might care to view my post on listening:

  6. chris says:

    Reblogged this on Pennsylvania Echoes and commented:

    ⚃ tenants to remember ⚃

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