General Question

robmizelldotcom's avatar

Who is a good listener?

Asked by robmizelldotcom (198points) May 29th, 2008

What constitutes a good listener and what are traits they possess that make them so?

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Being a good listener is a rare thing in our culture these days. For me, the following things are important to a good listener:

1. Gives the person speaking their full attention—they are not thinking about they want to say in response, checking their email on their handheld or scrolling through text messages on their phone.

2. Mirrors what they heard back to the speaker to show they took in what was said.

3. Sometimes what’s wanted in a listener is just a listener: not advice, not someone to “fix” the issue, just someone who hears you. A good listener knows when to comment and when to hold back.

ebenezer's avatar

Listen to terry gross on fresh air. She is an expert listener. Granted it is also an interview so she has to ask more questions than in a normal conversation.

robmizelldotcom's avatar

I find the communication process really interesting. People love to talk about themselves but generally don’t listen. But when you find a good listener, it’s golden!

Mtl_zack's avatar

im not trying to brag, but people always say im a good listener. firstly, you have to know when someone needs to be listened to. if they dont want to talk, then they dont have to. also, my mind is always focused on the problem at hand. if the problem was that they had a crappy day, then its just a rant and theres no need for suggestions. if something more serious is going on like domestic abuse (yes people have come to me with this kind of problem, and yes im only 18) i dont pressure them into doing something. i just lay out all the options and let them choose. after all, its their life.
the listener might be in a situation where he needs to be somewhere else or just needs to go. in this case, stop the conversation at a point where the talker could reflect on the ideas given by the listener. i like to call this “aided reflection”.
also, make eye contact, dont look at her boobs (if shes a girl), and dont be too afraid to use body contact, but use it sparingly because if you’re always touching him/her, then when they’re in a serious slump, it wont help as much because its just a normal thing. in other words, save the pat on the back or the hug for when the talker needs it most, because it seems more special if its more rare.

spendy's avatar

I’m sorry…what did you say? :)

But seriously, what Marina said…well put.

TheTherapist's avatar

I’m a great listener but I am a therapist so I don’t know if that counts.

DS's avatar

I’m a great listener but that comes from the fact that I use to be super shy so when spoken to my face turned bright red.

wildflower's avatar

Effective communication is much like one person passing a package to another. The sender must ensure the package is in such a shape that it can be handed over and must offer it to the recipient in a way that the recipient can respond to and accept.
The recipient must be aware of the package being passed, open and ready to receive it and make sure they get a good handle on it and not drop it.

A good listener must be present, focused, attentive, acknowledging, take notes (mentally or actually writing/typing), ask for clarification and eventually confirm that they’ve received the message correctly.

deaddolly's avatar

i really try to be, because I’ve had a few friends who weren’t, so I know how it feels.
It an important sign of true friendship for me anyway. I have a few friends who turn everything that happens to me into something either worse or the same that happened to them. Drives me insane.

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