3 Guidelines To Improve Your Listening Skills

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

– Bryant H. McGill

adult talking, child intently listening

In our last post, on National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW) at Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation, we wrote about the importance of listening. But, as you probably know, listening isn’t simple. Sometimes we lose patience and tune out. Other times we’re focused on sharing our wisdom and prepare to interject at the first opportunity.

The result of such listening is a loss of communication. We don’t get to fully hear or understand the situation and they feel that their message wasn’t received.

The good news is you can learn to listen better. Here are 3 guidelines to help you become a better listener.


Being present is about removing distractions and making a conscious decision to give whatever we’re doing our fullest. Begin with external disturbances: turn your phone ringer off; go to a quiet area and block out a minimum amount of time dedicated to this conversation. Internal noise is harder to control, but with practice you can get train yourself to be mentally present as well.


Men are typically labeled as ‘fix-its,’ meaning their primary focus in a conversation is to find the right solution to whatever the problem may be. But, in truth, the fix-it mindset isn’t confined to gender. At times, we all tend to focus on solutions (and rightfully so). The idea is to understand the nature of the conversation from the outset. If the speaker isn’t looking for a new idea, turn your fix-it mindset down and replace it with curiosity, empathy and compassion.


Important events generally require preparation. The same would make sense for important conversations. However, the nature of conversation is often spontaneous, so you can’t always take the time to rest up and clear your mind beforehand. But, often, you may be able to defer it for a couple of minutes. So, if you sense that this is going to be a meaningful talk, ask for a couple of minutes, relax, prepare yourself, get into the right mindset and be present.

How do you work on your listening skills?

Please share in the comments below.

Disclaimer, or Use At Your Own Risk

The information and advice in this post are for entertainment and informational purposes and should not be viewed as professional opinions. We do not take any responsibility for its content and any action you take based on the information of this post is strictly at your own risk. You should always speak to your doctor regarding medical information and your health.

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