Deep Listening — More than just hearing

Listening skills are critical in building great relationships…in work and in life. Tim Corkpresident of Nexcareer, wrote this lovely piece about listening in his book, “Tapping the Iceberg”. His book is about unleasing your possibilities through what he calls a “Straight A’s philosophy in life….Attitude, Aptitude & Action”.  Tim has given me permission to share this piece. Listen carefully as you read this:


One of the first things we learn in kindergarten, listen to others so you can understand their point of view. This is the foundation of empathy, which in turn is the key to great communications and understanding. Using empathy and understanding is very powerful. You should always hear someone’s point of view before deciding to respond. When you hear the person’s story, you get a better feeling for who they are and their perception of the particular situation. There may be a very good reason why they are acting or behaving a certain way. Don’t judge until you hear what they’re saying.

Hearing vs. listening:

My son, Geoffrey, often says, “I hear you, but I’m not listening.” This favorite expression of his sums up the way a lot of people handle communication. Others say they have selective hearing. There is an art to listening; it evolves around interest, curiosity and focus.

You can’t learm much when your lips are moving.

You have two ears and one mouth. When meeting someone, ask good questions and spend most of your time listening. Use the ears and mouth proportionately. Listen twice as much as you talk.

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” – Peter Drucker.

Do you remember show-and-tell in kindergarten? When it was your turn, you were thrilled to be the center of attention, to have everyone’s eyes and ears trained on you. That human need and delight does not stop when you head into the next grade. All through trheir lives people appreciate it when you sit and listen to them. Listening is a very important ingredient in showing you care. The good listeners are the go-to people in friendships, relationships, families and business. These people earn reputaitons as being wise and thoughtful because of their ability to listen.

Tim – thank you for this! I couldn’t have said it better myself. In particular, I love one of your last lines: “The good listeners are the go-to people in friendships, relationships, families and business.”

By the way, empathy (which real listening is so deeply connected to) is one of the 15 Emotional Intelligence competencies in the BarOn EQi. Empathy skills (and listening) are increasingly more important in biz and life these days. Success, after all, is so very connected to building effective relationships.

So listen up everyone and power up those empathy skills!

 To a TGIM worklife!


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