Listen Up

Update Captain Admin | Monday, November 14, 2016

Following up from our last post on the best skills for communication, we thought it would be a good idea to elaborate on the key points in a series of blog posts.

First Up is Listen!

When communicating with a peer, significant other, co-worker or client, it is important to listen more than you speak. To quote the Dalai Lama by saying, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know; but when you listen, you may learn something new” is to understand how important it is to clearly comprehend what another person is trying to communicate to you. This is also a classic keep-it-in-your-pocket skill. is an excellent helping aid in developing day-to-day life skills. The site offers an array of communication tutorials in subjects including: Leadership Skills, Presentation Skills and Parenting Skills. According to, adults spend an average of 70% of their time engaged in some sort of communication; of this, an average of 45% is spent listening compared to 30% speaking, 16% reading and 9% writing. (Adler, R. et al. 2001). They also go on to say that a good listener will listen not only to what is being said, but also to what is left unsaid or only partially communicated. Effective listening involves observing body language and noticing inconsistencies between verbal and non-verbal messages.

Here is their list of pertinent listening traits:

  1. Stop talking
  2. Prepare yourself to listen
  3. Put the speaker at ease
  4. Remove distractions
  5. Empathize
  6. Be patient
  7. Avoid personal prejudice
  8. Listen to the tone
  9. Listen for ideas – not just words
  10. Wait and watch for non-verbal communication

To receive elaborated information on the list above, visit’s article on the subject here. Putting these skills to the test everyday will eventually become second nature. They will increase your ability to work effectively with your peers on personal relationships, and will ensue trust between you and the people with whom you will communicate.