How do I become a better Listener?


How do I become a better listener? Become aware of what level you are listening at.

There are 5 levels of listening:

  1. not listening
  2. hearing the noise, waiting for silence
  3. hearing the words, preparing my response
  4. hearing the meaning from my point of view
  5. hearing the emotion, meaning and point of view of the other person.

Level 5 requires complete attention and is very tiring. It is not necessary that you always listen at this level.

There are times my daughter is talking and she just needs to know that I am here in the room with her. There are other moments when she is sharing something important that has happened and will benefit from level 5 listening.

It is too tiring to always listen at level 5.


  1. Keri Vandongen · · Reply

    Your advice to hear the speaker’s meaning, emotion and point of view is excellent, Conor!
    I’ll keep your tip in mind…
    Listening so well you consider the speaker’s point of view –helps you become a better communication partner and writer. You’ll begin to predict what people really want, how they feel about a topic, and what their perspective is.

  2. antonio · · Reply

    Si hay acción, reacción , el nivel 3 es el usual.

    1. Yep, it requires self discipline to move beyond “reaction” to understanding and empathy. When someone attacks us, it is often because they are feeling small… it has nothing to do with us… but our reaction turns it into something that now is to do with us.

  3. Nice post, Conor. Most of our communication these days is over the Internet, but I always try to read you at Level 5.

    1. Excellent. The big challenge for you is that sometimes I write at Level 3 and don’t even know what I really mean, feel or intend 😉

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