How To Listen By Oscar Trimboli

3 min readOct 29, 2023

Discover the hidden key of better communication

Whenever you are in a conversation with someone remember the following tips

Switch off your phone or put your phone in airplane mode or at least try to keep your phone away while listening. Phones are the biggest barrier to listening better.

Take a deep breath in between, the deeper you breathe, the deeper you will listen and the more oxygen you can get to your brain.

Drink water during the conversation. A hydrated brain is a listening brain. It helps you to listen better.

In short, to listen to someone better, you must be an empty vessel to focus on someone or listen to them.

Following are the key lessons from neuroscience about listening

You speak at 125–150 words per minute.

You can listen to 400–500 words per minute.

You think at 900-1000 words per minute.

Before you think about listening to them, You have to be ready to listen.

5 Levels of Listening 🎧

Listening to yourself and not paying attention to the speaker.

Listen to the content: Listen to their body language.

Listening for the context: Understand what patterns they talk about, past or future? Individual or Collective? Problems or Solutions?

Listening for what’s unsaid: We know that people think around 900 words, so try out to discover other 800 words stuck in their head.

Listening for the meaning: Trust your gut feel a little bit more.

When someone says something, treat silence at the end of what they say like it’s another word.

3 Phrases to continue any conversation

What Else?

Tell me more.

How long you have been thinking about this?

When you use phrases like “Tell me more” you are giving them an opportunity to align their thoughts more clearly, think through the idea, and figure out the most important themes and ideas to shine through in the conversation.

Using silence as a weapon, in our rush to fill the silence, we miss out on quite a lot.

Practice Makes Perfect

Listening is a skill that can be honed through practice very similar to playing sports. By dedicating time and effort to this skill, you can become a more proficient listener.

The Four Listening Mistakes

Being overly dramatic: Being overly dramatic in listening means reacting excessively or emotionally to what the speaker is saying, which can hinder communication.

Interrupting: Interrupting is cutting off the speaker before they express their thoughts, which is disrespectful and hinders effective communication. Let the speaker finish it before responding.

Getting lost in our own thoughts means becoming preoccupied with our own concerns while someone is speaking. This can cause us to miss important details and hinder our understanding of the speaker’s message. Active engagement and concentration are essential for effective listening.

Trying to be too clever means prioritizing impressing the speaker rather than genuinely listening and understanding their perspective. This hinders effective communication and creates a barrier between the listener and the speaker.

Silence Is Important

Sometimes, Silence in a conversation is good, It gives everyone a chance to think and speak more clearly. It’s like a pause button that helps to understand each other better.