Listening: A Vital Element of Communication


The best way to build your relationships is to be present and listen. – Ellie Parvin


Did you know that the most neglected part of verbal communication is listening?


Communication is a “two-way street” indeed.  In fact, the best communicators are often the best listeners. Think about your closest relationships (family and dearest friends) and how you know what they are feeling, just by the tone of their voice or look in demeanor.


In fact, the best communicators are often the best listeners. Various research reveals that during conversations, 55% of the information is passed on by studying the speaker’s facial expressions, 38% in the tone with which the words are said and just 7% come from the actual spoken words.


The following are some of the more specific reasons why listening is vital to communication.

Good listening skills lead to higher productivity

Take for instance in the workforce. If employees have great listening skills then their higher productivity is more likely, because they are able to understand instructions for projects and tasks. This means that management does not have to keep following up on them for needless reminders or fixes from misunderstandings.

Good listeners build rapport and earn better opportunities

If you are a good listener people will have growing confidence in you based on your performance track record. Coworkers, managers, etc. will give you work of higher value because they know you will get things done right. These are often the people who have greater opportunities for promotions, bonuses and the like.

Good listeners make good team players

Most of the time, companies delegate responsibilities in teams for ease of completion and to encourage participation. When the management gives instructions on what is supposed to be done on a particular project, most people fail. However, if your team has good listeners, then you are bound to get accurate results.

Good listeners hear what is not said too

When people speak, sometimes they ignore some of the non-verbal details. However, these small details could be cues for understanding deeper meanings behind what others are saying. Be mindful of what a speaker is saying, his or her tone and be attentive to the body language, including facial expressions.

Good listeners minimize distracting the speaker

At the end of a well-organized speech there is a time scheduled for questions and answers. However, sometimes, people may interrupt the speaker to seek clarification on various issues. However, often most of the points of speech are covered and questions are clarified by the end of a presentation. Therefore, if you are a good listener, you will write your question down and save it until the end.

Now that you know WHY listening or being a skilled listener is vital, you may wonder HOW can you be a better listener or improve your listening skills.  Here is a great resource on one of my favorite (previous) blog posts:

Tips to Improve Listening Skills:


Remember, your voice defines who you are!  Let the uniqueness of YOU come out and connect with others by communicating. If you want to know how to improve your Public Speaking Skills you may be interested beta test program opportunity!

About Ellie Parvin

Ellie is a Communication Consultant, Professor, Speaker, Writer, Mentor, Coach and has a passion for motivating and inspiring others by sharing her insight, expertise and lessons learned. She loves to teach and is a Communication Professor, as well as a Fitness instructor. She teaches Business Communication, Media & Culture, Public Speaking and Academic Writing. Ellie is obsessed with the way people communicate and how various personal and environmental factors can alter the perception of information/message/meaning delivered and received between those in communication. She received her B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University and M.A. in Communications & Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Published Thesis: Critical Theory and Gender Communication Studies in Small Organizations.

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