Climbing the Listening Ladder



L. Look at the person speaking to you.. This alone sends out the message that you are focussed and involved.

A. Ask additional questions flowing from answers given to your original starting questions. Remember that you learn what to say by listening to what has been said.

D. Don’t interrupt. The only time an interruption is acceptable is when you require clarification.

D. Don’t change the subject. The speaker will indicate when they are finished their story.

E. Empathize with the speaker. Short phrases such as, “How interesting.” “How exciting.” “You must be so proud.” Send the speaker the message that you are an empathic, caring listener.

R. Respond to what is said verbally and non-verbally. A simple nod or leaning slightly toward the speaker indicates interest and attention. Add to this such phrases as, “I see.” “Really?” “Is that right?” and you enrich your response.


This is just an extract from an article written by Mike Moore. He is an international speaker on the role of humor in human relations. Mike’s articles and cartoons have appeared in publications throughout the world. For more on what Mike can do for your organization visit

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