Why Listening Is a Lost Art and Skill

Do you ever feel nervous before a big presentation or interview? What’s most likely going through your head is how you will deliver what you need to say in a manner which is understood by the other party – and maybe even captivate them.

Do Not Plan While Listening

When its time to listen to the person you’re speaking with however, you’ve probably caught yourself planning what you will be saying in your next ‘verse’. In doing so, you limit yourself from listening attentively and responding with quality. We never feel nervous to listen, but only do when its time to speak. Perhaps we don’t feel as if listening makes as much of an impact or plays importance like when it is our turn to speak. Perhaps attentive listening may play a larger part in captivating the people you are in conversation with than you think.

Though the information age is upon us, there is a tendency to speak rather than to listen. When a person browses the internet, their consumption of content is not recognized except for existing as an IP address. When we speak, or write, or sing, we can see an online audience building and our work seems to have more of an impact on those around us. These expressive actions bring quick rewards.

The Feeling of Importance

Attentive listening makes the person speaking feel important, and they will tend to return the favor. When it is your time to speak, make it concise and make it relate to the points raised by the other. It is much more effective to play into the need for people to feel important, rather than to prove any point that you have to prove through speaking – no matter how important you feel the point is.

The reason for this is that the importance of the points that you are making are dependent on how the person who is listening feels about you. If you have made them feel important by attentively listening and addressing the points that they raised, then they will see your points as being important as well. This is why the content of your speech is secondary to the set-up that goes into making those points heard. Now, if the things you say also hold true importance, then their effect would be magnified even more.


Learn how to make people feel important by listening to them and saying the right things, avoiding the need to be heard but rather abiding by the need to address what you hear. To be an accurate counter-puncher is much more effective than being a straight brawler with your words. Even when in an argument or debate, listening takes precedent. To listen to argumentative words against you will allow you to pick up on weaknesses and exploit them surgically. Listen with all intent to listen and avoid the internal dialogue that plans for the next thing that you will say. Speak only after analyzing what you have heard and your words will have a greater effect than anything that you can plan when you don’t listen.

Book Recommendation:

Listening: The Forgotten Skill: A Self-Teaching Guide

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