12 Ways to be a More Appreciated Listener

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Are you easily distracted Does your phone interfere with face to face conversations Want to be a better listener Here are 12 ways to improve...

I don’t know whether I have ADD or I’m just easily distracted, but it’s hard for me to sit in a restaurant and not have my eyes dart around the the room like I’m watching bumble bees in a garden.

I love to watch people. So, one of the ways I show Rev intentional love is choosing to sit with my back to the activity and my attention focused on him.

I also sit near the front in church or any place I want to avoid distractions.

Maintaining eye contact is important for anyone who wants to be a good listener.

Let’s take a look at the complete list…

12 Ways to be a More Appreciated Listener

1. Stay Open-minded – It’s easy to go into a conversation with preconceived ideas. If the issue is life or death . . . or eternal in nature, keep an open mind. You might learn something new.

“Learn something new each day – keep your eyes, ears and most of all your mind open.” ~Unknown

2. Pay Attention – Be all there. Put down your electronics. Make eye contact. Really listen.

“A beautiful thing happens when we start paying attention to each other. It is by participating more in your relationship that you breathe life into it.” ~Steve Maraboli

3. Eliminate Distractions – If this is a challenge for you like it is for me . . . be intentional.

[Tweet “This moment won’t come again . . . give it your full attention. “]

4. Use Attentive Body Language – Sit facing each other, uncross your arms, lean in . . . don’t just be interested act it.

“A blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts … the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere.” ~Edward R. Murrow

5. Give Care and Compassion – Make it a goal to understand. Try to look at things from the other person’s perspective. Care more about the person than about making a point or winning.  

You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36

6. Don’t Compare – You don’t have to agree, but don’t compare yourself or anyone else to the person with whom you’re talking. Comparing leads to judging, envy, and impatience.   

If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:3–4

7. Don’t Interrupt – It’s just rude.

“Replacing rudeness and impatience with the Golden Rule may not change the world, but it will change your world and your relationships.” ~Steve Shallenberger

8. Avoid Clichés – A good listener avoids the quick pat comments like: “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” or “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” or “God is trying to get your attention.” or …

Clichés make the listener sound disinterested and in a hurry to move to something else.

“People don’t always need advice. Sometimes all they really need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.” ~Unknown

9. Ask Caring Questions – “How can I best help? How can we work on this together? What do you think you should do?”

hug-me-light-and-say-i-know-you-are-not-care-quotesPhoto Credit

10. Validate Feelings – Feelings are just feelings. They aren’t right or wrong. You can often help someone just by telling them their feelings are okay.

“Respect people’s feelings! Even if it doesn’t mean anything to you, it could mean everything to them.” ~Unknown

11. Silence is Okay – We are so accustomed to noise it’s hard to wait when someone stops to think or breathe. Give them time.

“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” ~Cicero

12. Keep it Private – Put a big star by this one! One of the best ways to be a caring listener is to never share anything someone has told you unless they specifically give you permission. 

A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. Proverbs 11:13


Pray Before, During, and After – Ask God to help you be a good listener. Ask Him for wisdom during the conversation. Ask Him to bless and help your friend.

Follow up – Check in a few days later to see how your friend is doing. Continue to care. Continue to listen.

Which of the above ways is most important to you? 

Which one needs some work?

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  1. You and I are cut from the same cloth Deb. i do not want my back to the door at the restaurant. Like the old gunslingers of the West, I want to see who comes in the door. So I CAN WATCH!

  2. These are great tips. My biggest problem is interrupting people. I am working on stopping.

  3. My problem, too, is getting distracted, especially in a busy restaurant. Your advice, all 12 tips, are marvelous, Deb!

  4. Ooh this is so so good. Great points. All twelve of them are fantastic nuggets that require reflection. It’s surprising how rare a skill this is these days but I can’t think of too many others that are as important.

  5. Ah, yes….distractions and cliche’s. I’m too bad with saying trite things, but your suggestion made me pause. As a mother, I am constantly distracted and could definitely focus on this. I love your list and am pinning it for later.

  6. Wow, I have to say today for some people must be really hard to left away their electronic devices and really listen. Those things have affected our communication in these days. But, I love this post! It’s great to have some practical advises for one of the most important things we do: communicate!

    Visiting from #DancewithJesus Link UP

  7. Great ideas for listening Deb. I sometimes am guilty of not being fully attentive. My sons have caught me more than once and have called me out on it-nicley of course. It’s a great reminder that listening requires being all in for the other person. Blessed you linked up at The Weekend Brew.

  8. Love these suggestions. I hate having my back to the door. (I also hated sitting in the front in school. 😉 ) I do realize how detached I can seem when my eyes are darting around and that I need to work on that for sure as I certainly do want to be a good listener! Thanks for sharing with us at Grace & Truth!