Listening with Understanding and Empathy

Listening is the beginning of understanding. Stephen Covey, in his book, 7 Habits For Highly Effective People, states “highly effective people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy listening.”


It is estimated that we spend 55% of our time listening yet it is one of the least taught skills in school. Some psychologists believe to empathize with and understand a person’s point of view is one of the highest forms of intelligent behavior. Good listeners put aside their own thoughts to listen to the ideas of others and try to understand what other people are saying. They are often regarded as respectful, focused, tuned in, caring and attentive. …


 A common listening sequence is to pause, paraphrase and probe.


by Karen Boyes