5 Tips – Improve Your Listening Skills

There is a huge difference between hearing someone and listening to them.

Listening isn’t always easy.

But it is a key part of being a manager and a team member.

This guide on learning listening skills goes hand in hand with our line manager courses!

Listening Skills

5 Tips For Listening Skills

Listening is all about attention.

Paying attention to the person speaking to you, and showing them you are doing so.

This is important as a manager, and as a team member.

The best way to get started is to have a good environment to speak in.

1. Remove Distractions

Trying to talk when phones are ringing, or people are walking in and out of the room is frustrating.

Put your phones on silent, and pick a room to have your discussion.

Put a sign on the door saying not to interrupt!

Distractions will move everyone off their train of thought, and actually stops people from speaking up.

The first key to listening is ensuring everyone is comfortable speaking.

2. Be Positive About Questions

When asked a question:

Smile and use positive language in response.

This encourages people and lets them know you are really listening.

Use responses like: “Great question” or “That’s an interesting point”.

This will let the other person know you value their input.

Our small, intensive courses are the fastest way to improve your skills.manager-promo-1

3. Eye contact

Eye contact is the best way to let someone know that they have your attention.

When replying to a question:

Make sure that you hold good eye contact with the person who asked it.

This will make the individual feel valued, and show others that if they speak they will be rewarded.

4. Body Language

In addition to your eye contact, your body language needs to be positive and encouraging.

Your voice and body language go hand in hand.

Face the person that you are speaking to, and stand with confidence.

This shows them that you respect them and care about responding to them.

5. Ask for feedback

Whether people have questions or not, always ask for feedback.

This is when people who are more shy will most likely get talking.

Remember both managers and team members can be reserved!

This shows everyone that you want feedback, and are committed to being your best self!

Team listening stock image



Like all good skills, you need to practice listening.

If you are serious about building up your skills, ask a colleague or friend to tell you a short story.

Keep all the tips above in mind, and understand your own thought process.

Thinking about your own strengths and weaknesses is the key to improving.

Effective listening skills also show Humility, which is mentioned in our Manager Assertiveness guide here!

Images from Andrea Piacquadio and Cristina Morillo


About Ben Richardson

Ben is a director of Acuity Training which he has been running for over 10 years.

He is a Natural Sciences graduate from the University of Cambridge and a qualified accountant with the ICAEW.

He previously worked as a venture capitalist and banker and so had extensive experience with Excel from building financial models before moving to learn SQL, Microsoft Power BI and other technologies more recently.