Are We Losing the Art of Listening?

Listening, like other skills, can be developed through practice, or lost if not used regularly. Good listeners focus on what they are hearing. They pause to think about what they’ve heard before responding. They ask questions because they want to know the answers, not just to keep the conversation going. Do you often find yourself in the company of good listeners? Would you describe yourself as a good listener? Why or why not?

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Published in Questions & Trivia


  1. starlette

    Well like I replied in the other blog about good manners, people who hog the conversation is one of my pet hates, to me they are downright rude, to be able to hold a good conversation you need to be able to converse and listen…….I consider myself to be good at holding a conversation……… can bet wherever I go someone ends up telling me their life story……….that’s because they know I am listening and interested, maybe sometimes I am not, but I would never be rude enough to show it………xx

    1. Gael

      Star you would be worth your weight in gold! A good listener is priceless and some do get paid for it handsomely, such as psychiatrists!

      A good listener has to be able to step away from their own agenda long enough to be willing to listen to the concerns of others. Not something everyone does, unfortunately.

      I can count on one hand the people I know who I consider truly good listeners. And I treasure them.

      I would hope I am in their number as I do care about others and try to help solve problems. I will talk about myself, but I don’t want to monopolize the conversation and I do want others to have their say.

    1. Gael

      Rose, I seem to attract those with burdens and problems. I think anyone who offers a sympathetic ear has plenty of people lining up!

      Which is fine for me, as it’s in my nature to try to problem solve.

      But as you note, it’s also no fun to be around people with nothing to say. I agree and they bore me.

  2. patak

    I have spent a lifetime listening and taking an interest in what is said so i could make decisions. So yes I am a good listener and a good responder. This was all down to the career I chose. Now I am retired I find that i’m probably better now at listening because what I listen to is more conversational. How can you respond to peoples interests or problems if you don’t listen. Those people who as Star says butt in are not only rude but have their own interests at heart and want their stories to take precedent. Another good discussion blog Gael.

    1. Gael

      Thank you Pat. Having chatted with you hear numerous times I can wholeheartedly confirm that you are indeed a good listener. You genuinely care about others and are not so consumed with your own agenda that you can’t listen.

  3. davidrv

    Good blog Gael. It made me think when you said “They pause to think about what they’ve heard before responding”. Sometimes I don’t have enough time, either because I can’t grasp the general idea fast enough, or because the person is a fast talker who can’t stop talking.
    That is the reason I like blogs. I have time to read and understand what someone is trying to tell.

    1. Gael

      Well David, it sounds like you are a sincere type of person who doesn’t want to give a glib answer, but prefers to offer a considered response.

      And I agree it does make matters easier when it’s in print for you have time to think before you respond. And of course edit! Haa!

  4. vonMichael

    Hot stuff you are serving Gael, but good!

    To me, I can’t say what I can do better. All depends on the situation and the people I’m with.

    Could it be that many of us think to be very important so our words have to be heard? Many people get very disappointed by noticing those people they speak to are no followers and they may don’t know the difference between a simple talk and a fine conversation.

    1. Gael

      I think there is a difference Michael, between wanting to pontificate and to share in a genuine manner. And there is a difference between listening with a sincere concern and interest for others and filtering it all through our own agendas.

    1. Gael

      I have found plenty of honest exchanges that take place, Rose. I couldn’t classify it as rare.

  5. starlette

    Rose not sure what you mean when you say honest talk is rare…….now I know now and again we have all been spun a yarn………. maybe I am naïve, but I like to think most of the people I chat to (in or out of here are honest )……..xx

    1. Gael

      There will always be deception in the world as there will always be forthrightness. I just wouldn’t say it’s impossible or rare to engage in honest exchanges.