Listen up!

Listen up!

“Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.” Jane Hanson

When is the last time you really listened to someone?

We have a problem with our communication skills – few people truly LISTEN — providing of course you can drag them away from their texts for a conversation in the first place.

My mother used to say you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.  Put another way — “Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble.”

I believe that the single most important key to success is to be a good listener.    It certainly paid off in my life as a TV broadcaster, when listening made the difference between a so-so interview, and a great one.  Or even just getting to the truth.

But how do you do that in today’s world of short attention spans?  According to Microsoft, they are … wait for it …only 8 seconds long.

Here is my to-do list:

First– be attentive — use your eye contact … listen for twice as long as you speak.

Don’t check that aforementioned phone or watch … it’s just plain rude.

And don’t be that person who looks over someone’s shoulder to see if there’s another more interesting someone behind them.

Have positive body language– lean in, don’t fidget or cross your arms and show empathy with your expressions.

Be totally focused on the speaker with an open mind –meaning don’t simply wait for your chance to jump in …  ask questions, engage with them.    Give encouraging feedback by such simple things as a nod, a smile, or a “tell me more”.

And allow for silence.  Be patient — It’s ok to have a pause while you consider what they’ve said, and they consider elaborating.

A good listener has a profound impact – they are memorable.   Plus  listening to other’s stories will help YOU become a great communicator.

Remember this:  

“Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.”


Emmy award winning television journalist and coach Jane Hanson has spent over 30 years helping people learn to communicate better.

Not only does it enhance their presence, and ensure they resonate with every type of audience, but in today’s fast paced world, it is imperative to be on one’s game 24/7. Hanson focuses on three core elements: what you say, how you say it, and how your body language keeps it all in sync. Learn more.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.