How Do You Become a Better Listener Overnight?

As a wise man once said, “Nature has given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.” Even still, listening is a difficult skill. More often than not, we find ourselves listening to respond, rather than listening to learn. Don’t worry if that sounds like something you’re guilty of.

It’s never too late to learn how to be a better listener overnight.

Remember to Maintain Eye Contact

Above all else, maintaining eye contact lets the person you’re speaking with know that you’re listening. But that isn’t all that it does. When you maintain eye contact, you are more actively involved with the conversation by default. It’s hard to be disengaged when you’re making a concerted effort to keep your eyes focused on the person you’re talking to.

It may feel uncomfortable or awkward at first, but it’s ultimately one of the most important communication skills that you can develop throughout your life and career.

Limit Distractions as Much as Possible

It’s far easier to maintain eye contact and be a better, more active listener when you limit distractions as much as possible. Put down the smartphone. Forget about the clock. In those moments when you’re trying to be a present listener, just focus on being present.

To become a better listener overnight, start by limiting as many distractions as you possibly can.

Ask Questions to Dive Deeper

By far, the best thing you can do to become a better listener overnight is to simply ask questions. Dive deeper into the conversation and make it all about the person you’re speaking with.

One of the worst things you can do when you’re trying to be a better listener is to assume you know the answers to the questions you’re asking. Don’t try to be a mind-reader; just allow the person you’re in conversation with to lead and answer freely.

In the end, being a better listener just takes patience, concentration, and a willingness to tap into your natural sense of empathy. Be the person you wish would listen to you, and center all of your conversations around the idea that you’re there to learn from others. Ultimately, this practice will make you not only a better listener, but also a better person all around.

Leslie WolgamottHow Do You Become a Better Listener Overnight?

41 comments

Join the conversation
  • Shanely - April 6, 2017 reply

    So grateful for this perspective–// becoming a better person in every way definitely includes listening to the world around us

  • Ray S. - April 7, 2017 reply

    Great article

  • Stevie - April 8, 2017 reply

    Great advice! I love the content and the reminder that empathy is required. Connection happens through empathy.

  • Amy Rollings - April 8, 2017 reply

    Great tips to focus on listening to learn! Thank you

  • Kurtis - April 8, 2017 reply

    Very helpful.

  • Brian G. - April 8, 2017 reply

    I love it when people embody what they preach. Leslie thanks for living the life you teach us all live. We all need to listen more.

  • Annie - April 8, 2017 reply

    Great article! Very useful read for everyday life.

  • John Walker - April 8, 2017 reply

    So grateful that my wife and I can gain from your insight and work to create our own personal freedom so we can help many many others like you and Jeff!

  • Tara - April 8, 2017 reply

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenni - April 10, 2017 reply

    Wonderful article and a great reminder to take our eyes and ears off ourselves and focus on those around us and speaking to us. Everyone wants to be valued and this is a great way for us to show those around us how much we value them.

  • Josh B - April 10, 2017 reply

    This is good insight!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Amanda - April 10, 2017 reply

    Wow! Fantastic ‘How To’! Thank you taking the time to write this Leslie! My fiance and I just made a rule about smartphones at the table when we share meals together, they are such an ongoing distraction.. one that is easily removed 🙂 It’s great to learn how we can become even better listeners and take it to the next level!

  • Varun - April 11, 2017 reply

    Great read! Have become more intentional and focused with active listening( been my crutch for a while). This just puts more emphasis and better insight on the importance of being a great listener.

  • Tom C. - April 12, 2017 reply

    Fantastic advice!

  • Stephen B - April 13, 2017 reply

    Awesome, thanks!

  • Julie Marsh - April 14, 2017 reply

    Hi Leslie, As always, I so appreciate your wisdom. I am working on being a better listener so I was very interested to read what you had to say. I specifically like what you said about maintaining eye contact and using that intentional effort to stay present in the conversation. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jaime B - April 16, 2017 reply

    Great article! If more people follow these tidbits of advice, we’ll have a lot of great listeners out there!

  • Sue - April 16, 2017 reply

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing

  • Melissa M - April 16, 2017 reply

    This is beautiful and so empowering to be able to experience through interactions with you and then to apply in our relationships in marriage, friendship, family, business. Thank you!

  • Marc G - April 17, 2017 reply

    Thank you for sharing your insights Leslie. I will apply these techniques everyday and will become a better listener.

  • Ellen M. - April 19, 2017 reply

    Great points! The note about limiting distractions (especially the smart phone!) is such a huge thing. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  • Carmen P - April 20, 2017 reply

    Thank you for being an awesome female Role Model!

  • Sara - April 23, 2017 reply

    Thank you so much for this perspective! I am so grateful and will implement this immediately.

  • Alissa Villanueva - April 23, 2017 reply

    Definitely a go to read!!

  • Bethany - April 23, 2017 reply

    Thanks for this.

  • Deb - April 24, 2017 reply

    So true – put the phone down and listen! And show that you are listening by using those follow up questions – “dive deeper”. Thank you Leslie for all you do by giving back ~ and Welcome Jeff! Your business background insight is such a great addition to Leslie.

  • Brent - April 25, 2017 reply

    Great advice! listening and asking questions is a skillset we all could use.

  • Chad Huene - April 25, 2017 reply

    Great perspective, and the most important part to building a genuine relationship with someone.

  • Briana Vega - April 26, 2017 reply

    Thank you Leslie for this article! Definitely something I need to work on.

  • Roberto D - April 26, 2017 reply

    Great advice, thanks for sharing!

  • Jan - April 27, 2017 reply

    Appreciate the article! Thank you!

  • Kari - April 27, 2017 reply

    Thank you for sharing this! So good!

  • kayla - April 27, 2017 reply

    Great advice. Thanks for sharing

  • David - May 1, 2017 reply

    Something we ALL need to get better at! D

  • Raleigh - May 4, 2017 reply

    Great information, very helpful to bettering conversations

  • Erica - May 4, 2017 reply

    Hi Leslie! Thank you for the great advice.

  • Diana - May 24, 2017 reply

    Wow this is great!

  • Leah - June 2, 2017 reply

    Love this Leslie! You’re such a role model. I love the selfless life that you lead.

  • Travis Wassermann - June 7, 2017 reply

    Awesome advice. Great article!

  • Katie - June 7, 2017 reply

    Awesome advice!

  • Ray flores - July 31, 2017 reply

    Learning how to listen is the first step in developing speaking skills

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