5 Ways to Listen Better

The Power of Listening

One of my goals is to listen better. It’s one of those perpetual goals that shows up in my end-of-year self-contemplation. I aspire to be a better listener. Previously, I wrote about some tips to be a power listener.

That’s why I was drawn to Julian Treasure’s work on listening. Julian is an expert who lectures extensively on communications.

In a world that is faster and louder than ever, it can be difficult to slow down and truly listen.



5 Ways to Improve Your Conscious Listening

Julian shares 5 ways to improve your conscious listening:

  1. Spend at least three minutes a day being completely silent.
  2. Listen to each distinct sound. If you are outside, close your eyes and consciously listen to the birds or the passing car.
  3. Listen to the sound of the mundane, the dryer or coffee maker, what Treasure refers to as “the hidden choir” all around us.
  4. Listening positions. This is active vs. passive listening. Passive listening is watching a movie while active listening is engaged listening in a conversation. Critical vs. empathetic listening. Critical listening is listening for the bottom line like in a lecture and empathetic listening lets the speaker know you are in line with them emotionally.
  5. He uses the acronym RASA for the art of listening:

R = Receive.

This is all about paying attention in order to receive the communication.

A = Appreciate.

This is when we make little sounds so the speaker knows we are listening.



S = Summarize.

I use this one myself quite a bit. You echo back to the speaker, “So what you are saying is…” It is a wonderful check-in point to determine if you have heard what was said as intended.

A = Ask.

Ask questions. Not only does it show you are listening, but it helps to clarify points you may have missed.


Are you trying to improve your own listening skills? What tips work for you?


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