people talking

Do You Really Listen? The 5 Levels Of Listening

Listening is an art form. It is a skill that transforms relationships, builds trust and makes the other person feel valued.

And yet, most people who think they are good listeners tend to underperform.

Their overconfidence prevents them from truly understanding what the other person is trying to communicate.

Poor listening skills can ruin relationships. Given that over 70% of our communication is wrapped up in physical cues and syntax, how can you improve your listening skills?

Level 1 – Listen To The Gist

In this level, we listen long enough to catch the gist of what the other side is saying. And instantly, we allow your internal voice to formulate a reaction based on your worldview.

Level 2 – Listen To Rebut

At this level, we react instantly to anything that hits a trigger. It could be a statement that we pick on to argue or rebut.

Once we start, it is likely the other person shuts up long enough for us to tell them they are wrong and we are smarter.

These interruptions discourage open communication and undermine the relationship. They are a strong indication that we are not listening. We are still focusing on our own agenda and not paying attention to others.

How strong are your communication skills?

Level 3 – Listen For Logic

A higher form of listening, we are now concerned with the other person’s worldview.

At this level, we are interested in knowing why their conclusion makes sense to them.

Level 4 – Listen For Emotion

What is driving their argument? We may recognize certain emotions or issues that may or may not makes sense to us.

But we are able to recognize these emotions as the other person shares about what is important to them.

Level 5 – Listen For Their Point Of View

What is their argument saying about who they are in the world? How do their statements represent their personality?

Empathy seeps in as we try to gain a deeper appreciation of the other person’s worldview. If we understand their worldview, we really understand them.  And if we understand them… we will influence them.

It is a challenge to maintain such a high level of listening throughout the day. But we need to be willing to get here when the situation requires our full attention.


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