When a client, a colleague, a partner or an employee tells you something, do you listen to them or hear them?


HEARING “Perceiving sounds through hearing”

It is a passive attitude requiring no effort on our part. What is meant is not always clear in the mind. We hear, for example, the sounds of the street, the birds singing and the sound of motors. It is also possible to hear people talk about us without really listening.

LISTENING “Pay attention to …”

The act of listening requires a conscious effort. To listen, you must stop thinking and focus on what the person is saying. Listening is also an attempt to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the person. Listening is collected without trial and without commitment.

Behind The Words, There Is Something Else …


The words that come from our thoughts create our emotions, so behind every dialogue there are sometimes positive and sometimes negative feelings.

When we practice active listening, we are able to capture and decipher the needs of the person, their beliefs, values, concerns, their feelings, their perception, jovial or distressed tones of their voice, and their non-verbal body language.


Even if you think you are capable of doing several things at the same time, you cannot perform two actions that require your conscious energy at the same time and perform both in an acceptable manner. (For example, read your emails and listen, read and think, listen and think).

So here is how to listen actively:

  • Stop whatever you are doing
  • Give the person in front of you 100% of your attention
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Let them speak without restraint or interruption
  • Summarize what has been said to make sure that you understand what was said.
  • Clarifying your understanding of what the person is trying to express. This technique allows the person to reflect their emotions, beliefs etc…. you have understood through his words:
  • What I mean is that you need…
  • I understand that what you think is…
  • What I understand is that you feel our company…

What Prevents Us From Listening

In addition to external audio stimuli such as television, radio and computers other internal aspects that reduce active listening are:

  • When you are absorbed in your thoughts
  • When you are focused on your answer
  • When you are focused on your presentation
  • When looking to give a solution
  • When you pass judgment
  • Your values, which may be different
  • Your interest in the conversation
  • Your emotions of the moment

Why Should We Listen?

I do not think there is a person on this earth who does not like to be heard or who has never felt the need to be heard.

Listening helps to:

  • Understand
  • Learn
  • Fix a misunderstanding
  • See another perspective
  • Change our emotions
  • Capture opportunities
  • Create new ideas
  • Think differently
  • Bringing people together
  • Make your successful!

Source: GR Business Networking in collaboration with Nancy Lehoux, entrepreneur and professional coach.

Margaret-Ann Davis is Your GR Franchisee (Greater Ottawa Area). For more informative and actionable tips or to join this great GR Network follow her Blog: Margaret-Ann Davis | Your Like Know and Trust Guide or call: 1.613.294.6263

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