“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand they listen with the intent to reply” Stephen R Covey

“I hear what you say!”

ListeningHearing is a physiological or sensory activity where our auditory connections transmit information to the brain. Listening is something entirely different…

Listening = interpreting and understanding. It means deriving meaning from what has been heard; it is a psychological, not physiological, process.

Are you really listening?

Sometimes you see two people speaking and it is evident that the one who is supposedly listening is actually thinking about what they are going to say next; the speaker does not have the full attention of the listener…  and worse still, the speaker will often sense it.

Are you thinking faster than they can speak?

We can talk at between 120 – 150 words a minute. We think at a rate of 600 – 800 words a minute.

The result? Since we can think much faster than we can speak, our minds have time to wander away from the words being spoken and think about many other things in addition to what is being said.

Where is this relationship going?

All communication between individuals will maintain, strengthen or weaken the relationship.

True listening will indicate to a speaker that you’re interested in everything that is said and eager to understand their point of view. Hearing somebody’s words but not listening to what they say will have the opposite effect.

Our own thoughts, senses and emotions often distract us, and they need to be removed in order to listen attentively.

Listening carefully at interview is a critical skill. An interviewer who believes that the interviewee is not listening will become frustrated and unlikely to progress them to the next stage in the process. The interviewee who listens carefully and responds appropriately is far more likely to be successful.


Who am I? A chap living in Nottingham, United Kingdom who perhaps has a much higher level of enthusiasm than ability leading to an interest in many things but mastery of none. A father of three no longer dependent children, or so they tell me, and husband to a one-time nurse who now works with me (or rather I work for). I attempt to take photographs and occasionally fluke half decent shots though thank goodness I no longer have to buy film. I endeavour to practice karate but with advancing years spend more time instructing them participating but actively participate in the more gentle tai chi. Professionally I have spent the last twenty years in recruitment – not always the most highly regarded ‘industry’. For my part I take great pleasure in helping companies to find the right people and a lot of satisfaction out of seeing them thrive and succeed. More recently I have spent a lot of time helping people who have, or fear they may, lose their jobs. For many putting a CV together is so difficult and then finding opportuniteis can be a major challenge. Interviews can be a different problem altogether but with a little help most people can perform a lot better than they otherwise would.

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