How to Make Listening Your Superpower

We all want to be heard. When someone listens to us, we feel like what we have to say matters. Although listening is an important skill for personal and professional success, not all of us take the time to improve it.

How well you listen has a bigger impact on your leadership potential than your personality or intelligence. Studies show that good listeners are happier, have more meaningful relationships, and perform better at work. They also inspire higher degrees of trust because we perceive them as more intelligent, responsive, and empathetic.

What makes good listening such a superpower is that it’s rare. In today’s society, self-promotion is both encouraged and rewarded. So how can you overcome this popular tendency and become a better listener? Research suggests that you should master these four key enablers:

Learn to Focus

Most people struggle to listen, even when they have the best of intentions, only because they don’t give it their undivided attention. The stress, distractions, and multitasking we experience every day interfere with our ability to listen well. In order to truly listen, you must focus.

Be Empathetic

Most of us know how to show basic empathy but we don’t always do it. Taking a moment to put yourself in another person’s shoes will both improve your listening skills and foster a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Master Self-Control

In order to listen effectively, impulsive interruptions must be avoided. Without control over your emotions, you will jump in too early, without letting people make their point. This is why mindfulness predicts better listening. You can keep your feelings and thoughts under control by waiting for the other person to finish and counting to three after they’ve stopped talking. 


Even if you successfully accomplished the first three steps, it is still important to let the other person know you listened. When it’s your turn to speak, ensure you acknowledge the other person’s perspective, reference what they said, and react to it. By including the other person in your story, you will make it easier for them to empathize… and listen to you.


Listening is a skill like any other. Although some of us have more potential than others, we all need to practice to improve. Being a better listener at work would be a game-changer. It can also help with your marketing strategy by helping you key in on what your audience really cares about.

Our problem solving and decision making would be greatly improved as we would be able to pay attention to what others are saying and benefit from their expertise. Not only would this perspective increase our motivation and the motivation of those around us, but it would also take us one step closer to being the leaders we would like to follow.

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