Listening Quotes


    Channing Cox — who succeeded Calvin Coolidge as governor of Massachusetts — once asked him how he could see his visitors every day and manage to leave his office at five, while Cox could rarely leave before 9 PM. Coolidge replied, “You talk back.”

    Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. – Doug Larson

    If I had kept my mouth shut, I wouldn’t be here. – Sign under a mounted fish

    You never really learn much from hearing yourself talk. – George Clooney

    Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. – Alan Alda

    We were taught to sit still and enjoy the silence. To use our organs of smell, to look when there was apparently nothing to see, and to listen intently when all seemingly was quiet. – Luther Standing Bear, describing his childhood as an Oglala from Dakota

    What people talk about means something.
    What people don’t talk about means something.
    – William Saroyan

    Once you get people laughing, they’re listening and you can tell them almost anything. – Herb Gardner

    I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions. – Lou Holtz

    If you can’t get people to listen to you any other way, tell them it’s confidential.

    Sometimes we listen to people so that they can hear what they are saying. – Don Boyd

    I wonder if you heard what I didn’t say? – Daryl Dunham

    Listening is like photography: AIM, FRAME and FOCUS
    AIM: for the speaker, don’t be distracted
    FRAME: concentrate on the framework of the speaker
    FOCUS: on what is said

    The EAR model is a useful tool for effective listening:
    E – EXPLORE using open-ended questions such as “What” and “How”, OBSERVE non-verbals
    A – ACKNOWLEDGE by paraphrasing what you think the message was

    When listening, people spend most of their time responding. To be an effective communicator, spend more time exploring, observing and acknowledging.

    You ain’t learnin’ nothing when you’re talking. – Plaque on Lyndon Johnston’s Senate office wall

    To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well. – Chief Justice John Marshall

    The less you talk, the more you’re listened to. – Abigail Van Buren

    There is a story in Arabic which tells of a pupil asking a wise man how he could become a good conversationalist. The sage replied, “Listen, my son.” After waiting a while, pupil said, “I am listening, Please continue your instruction.” The sage smiled. “There is no more to tell.”

    Women like silent men. They think they’re listening.

    Try this test of how well people listen:
    Ask someone:
    How do you pronounce J-O-K-E? “Joke”
    How do you pronounce P-O-K-E? “Poke”
    How do you pronounce B-L-O-K-E? “Bloke”
    How do you pronounce S-M-O-K-E? “Smoke”
    How do you pronounce the white of an egg? “Yolk”
    Are you sure??

    Several studies have shown that people who speak the least in a sales or social settings are perceived to be friendlier, smarter, and better looking than people who speak the most.

    One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears – by listening to them. – Dean Rusk

    The spoken word belongs half to him who speaks, and half to him who listens.

    It takes a rare person to want to hear what he doesn’t want to hear. – Dick Cavett

    The only time some people really listen is when they are the ones asking the questions. – Angela Bright

    Are you really listening … or are you just waiting for your turn to talk?

    Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.

    People should talk less and draw more. Personally, I would like to renounce speech altogether and, like organic nature, communicate everything I have to say visually. – Goethe

    One of the hardest things to do in life is to listen without intent to reply.

    It is all right to hold a conversation but you should let go of it now and then. – Richard Armour

    You have two ears and one mouth and you should use them in that proportion – listen twice as much as you talk.

    You can judge a good listener by asking the talker at the end of the conversation what the listener’s position is on the topic. If the talker doesn’t know, then the listener has probably done a good job of listening.

    1. Seek to understand first and to be understood second
    2. Match tempo and tone
    3. Listen TO, not against. Evaluate, not value judge.
    4. Watch for: What is NOT said
    5. Read facial and body language
    6. Restate in your own words
    (It is NOT required that the listener AGREE with the other person)

    Every person I work with knows something better than me. My job is to listen long enough to find it and use it. – Jack Nicholson

    To find out what others are feeling, don’t “prod” or “poke”. If you want play with a turtle, you can’t get it to come out of its shell by prodding and poking it with a stick, you might kill it. Be gentle not harsh, hard or forceful.

    God gave us two ears but only one mouth. Some people say that’s because he wanted us to spend twice as much time listening as talking. Others claim it’s because he knew listening was twice as hard as talking.

    Good listeners are not only popular everywhere but after awhile, they know something.

    A LISTENING Chart:
    When listening to presentations of others, use a fill-in chart that tracks the following:
    Introduction: How did the speaker attract attention?
    Quotes/Anecdotes/Analogies: Note and keep as appropriate
    Resources: for additional information
    Closing: How “clean” was the wrap-up?
    Things to Avoid: How could the presentation have been improved?

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