Why listening matters and tips on how to be a better listener

Jun 24, 2022

I often get asked about how to be a better listener. 


One of my favorite connection quotes is:

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen.  Just listen.  The most important thing we can ever give each other is our attention…a loving silence often has far more power to connect than the most well-intentioned words.” - Rachel Naomi Remen

When we are able to be more curious and open in our conversations, and then listen to everyones’ voices, we have a stronger diversity of ideas and people quickly feel really seen. 

To be a really good listener…here are some easy tips…


1. Be present: eliminate distractions and to give someone your full attention.   

2. Make eye contact - Body language really matters.  When you look into someones’ eyes when you listen, it shows you are actively engaged and listening to understand them. Looking around out of the corner of your eye at something else will immediately make someone feel that you don’t care about what they have to say. 

3. Listen not to respond and turn about to yourself but to really understand what they are saying and feeling

4. Share a reflection to confirm understanding and amplify what they said/felt.  


I’m sure everyone can relate to a time when they were speaking to someone [colleague or romance partner] and he/she is already answering you?  Or maybe you are trying to talk to a team or family member and they are looking at their phone.  How does that feel?  It can make you feel not seen or heard.  

I really felt the impact of this myself when one day someone I once loved said to me “you are always on your phone!”  I realized he just wanted a deeper connection.  This was a catalyst for me and I now intentionally look up, pause and turn over my phone when I am speaking to someone.  

So often we think someone is listening and understands us, but we don’t really know that until they share back what they just heard, we really can’t be sure. So often we misunderstand each other.  This helps us quickly know if we interpreted correctly what someone said, and it quickly connects us.  

Do you often find yourself thinking about something you want to say about yourself or offer suggestions as someone is talking? 

Our brains mindfully listen and think about a response at the same time. 

I realized this impact myself as I noticed I was interrupting colleagues when they were speaking, and one day I paused and asked myself “why do I keep doing this?!” Realized I was not really taking in what they were saying and quickly jumping to assert my thought, opinion, idea.  

That is a connection detractor!!!  

It took me a while to improve but as I stopped doing this, I noticed that the relationships with team members flourished because they felt more comfortable and empowered to share ideas, and could level up and become more creative and innovative. 

And now, it’s ingrained in my behavior and I thrive on creating safe spaces to allow people to open up and show their authentic selves.  

Which is why I was also so honored when a client who recently completed a 6-week Connection Hour immersive experience with his team said to me:

“I always thought I was a good listener, but after going through this experience, I realized how much opportunity I had and with this new awareness, I have made significant shifts and am showing up as a much better leader for my team, and also a better husband.”  


We can all do this in every single conversation.  You are empowered to do this!


One way to discover if you have the opportunity to improve on your listening skills to strengthen and deepen connection is to just ASK people you care about and whose opinion matters to you.  


I did this years ago before I made a priority to improve this skill, and I’m so glad I did as it’s been a game-changer. So resharing one of my favorite previously shared conversation sparker questions…


Connection Conversation Sparker

Why this question matters: Feedback is a gift.  We only learn and grow when we know what to focus on.  Sometimes we need to understand from others what they perceive and how we make them feel.  To connect better, we have to be really good mindful listeners.  Ask someone whom you care about their opinion on this question today.  Be open.  Get curious.  Resist getting defensive.  The question alone will open up an interesting conversation, and the bonus is you will also learn more about yourself!

Live & work connected,


Complimentary gift: To help you accelerate and strengthen your relationships click here to download a free toolkit on the 3 Simple Ways to Connect Better, including some of her favorite conversation starter questions!

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