Listening comprehension

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The importance of listening in communication is enormous. People often focus on their speaking ability believing that good speaking equals good communication. The ability to speak well is a necessary component to successful communication. The ability to listen is equally as important.


Why you need good listening skills


Good listening skills make people more productive. The ability to listen carefully will allow you to:


  • better understand assignments and what is expected of you;
  • build rapport with co-workers, bosses, and clients 
  • show support;
  • work better in a team-based environment; 
  • resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and bosses;
  • answer questions; and
  • find underlying meanings in what others say.

How to listen well


The following tips will help you listen well. Doing these things will also demonstrate to the speaker that you are paying attention. While you may in fact be able to listen while looking down at the floor, doing so may imply that you are not.


  • maintain eye contact;
  • don't interrupt the speaker;
  • sit still;
  • nod your head;
  • lean toward the speaker;
  • repeat instructions and ask appropriate questions when the speaker has finished.

Barriers to listening


Beware of the following things that may get in the way of listening.
  • bias or prejudice;
  • language differences or accents; 
  • noise;
  • worry, fear, or anger; and 
  • lack of attention span.