Become a Better Listener

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Happy New Year!

The beginning of the year is often a time when we make resolutions, and look to make a fresh start.

With that in mind, I have provided a brief listening self-assessment test below, which I came across recently and found to be very enlightening. It is a great personal growth tool, for gauging our current listening abilities and bringing attention to areas we might want to improve upon.

It is not meant to be used as a way to beat ourselves up, but rather, as a way to take an active role in improving our listening skills, so we can really hear what others are saying.

The better we are at listening, the better we become at understanding what is actually being said, and the less misunderstandings we will experience when communicating with others.

Hope you will give it a try and enjoy!


Select one of the following 3 choices, as you respond to each item on the test below:

  1. Frequently
  2. Sometimes
  3. Rarely

Listening Self-Assessment Test

  1. I interrupt people when they are talking.
  2. I multitask at the same time I am listening.
  3. I am uncomfortable being silent during a conversation.
  4. If someone pauses to think of a word, I give it to them.
  5. I wait for the other person to pause so I can jump in and make my point.
  6. I listen for the “gist” of what’s said rather than to each word.
  7. I stop listening if someone is too detailed or verbose.
  8. I am easily distracted while I am listening.
  9. I convey resistance, disagreement or non-interest with my body language (arms folded in front of my chest, looking around room).
  10. I fake listening.
  11. I decide the merits of the other person’s message based on his/her appearance, status, age, race, etc.
  12. I think about what’s wrong with the other person’s point/idea as I listen.
  13. I don’t give feedback to the other person about what he/she has said.
  14. I listen impatiently (fidgeting, looking at watch, etc.)
  15. I don’t make eye contact when I’m listening.

Interpreting your score:

The more items you answered with rarely, the better listener you are!

Action Step:

Take one item you’d like to improve and consciously focus on it for the next week. Repeat this process with other items from the list, as you go forward.

16 thoughts on “Become a Better Listener

  1. First, officially, Happy New Year to my God sent Friend, Cathie!
    I read this article at loud to my husband. Over all, he is OK, but he had more ‘frequently’, some ‘sometimes’ and no ‘rarely’. He is a work in progress since we met seven years ago… and I must say, has been improving. 😀 ))) Thank you for 2012, and looking forward to your 2013 articles! Fae.

    • Thank you very much Fae! What a wonderful way to enter the New Year by reading your very warm comments! You made 2012 a delight and I look forward to our continued connection in 2013! Glad to hear you enjoyed and shared the listening test with your husband. You sound like a great marital team, who is growing and improving together! Excellent! 🙂

    • So true! Each of us can improve at becoming more mindful listeners! When we extend the gift of ‘being heard’ to those around us; it can help to create a positive ripple effect, where others want to do the same for those in their homes and communities as well! 🙂

  2. Oh dear, I am not a good listener. I am a good talker though. Does that make up for it?
    I think I need to slooow down a bit. But there are sooo many things I have to do that it is hard to fit in what I want to do!!!

  3. Happy New Year Cathie! Thinking to be a pretty good listener…your test proves I’m not so good at it at all :(. Wonderful test however, because it will be on my list for this coming year…to be a better listener! 😀

    • Happy 2013 to you too Letizia! Sorry the test results didn’t go as hoped, but glad you found it to be a motivational tool, and a good goal for the New Year! 🙂 You are not alone, as listening skills can always be further developed. How great you took the time to take the test in the first place!

    • Good point! It is important and enjoyable to be listened too as well, not just be the listener!! So true, that listening is an art and needs patience. How wonderful that you give that gift to those around you! Thanks for sharing your great comments and the link to your post on this topic. 🙂

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