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20 Quotes on the Art of Listening

Listening is an important part of how we connect with other people in the world. Being a good listener allows us to better understand those around us, to see through their eyes, to empathize, and ultimately, to understand ourselves better in turn. Studies have shown that people who listen well have stronger relationships, are better at anticipating problems, and resolve conflicts (when they do arise) with more tact and empathy.

We can practice listening any time we wish, even if there isn’t anyone else around. Try it right now. Close your eyes and notice what you hear. Sounds will present themselves in even the quietest of places, if we are patient and observant enough to hear them. The next time you’re outside, count how many sounds you can hear. Then take your honed listening skills with you into your next conversation, truly paying attention to what’s being said.

Listening is a practice of generosity. Without saying a word, you can send the message that what someone is saying is important, and that you care. To get you started, we’ve compiled these 20 quotes about the power of listening.

When we listen, we hear someone into existence.
Laurie Buchanan

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One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
Bryant H. McGill

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Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.
Henri Nouwen

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Listening may not be the most exciting part of conversation, but it’s essential if you want to have a meaningful exchange with another person.
Tania Israel

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An appreciative listener is always stimulating.
Agatha Christie

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It is hard to engage in listening to another person with empathy if you are waiting for the spotlight to shine back on you.
Ramani Durvasula

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When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.
Dalai Lama

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Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart.
Thích Nhất Hạnh

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To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It's a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued.
Deborah Tannen

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To learn through listening, practice it naively and actively. Naively means that you listen openly, ready to learn something, as opposed to listening defensively, ready to rebut. Listening actively means you acknowledge what you heard and act accordingly.
Betsy Sanders

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All narrative begins for me as listening. When I read, I listen. When I write, I listen — for silence, inflection, rhythm, rest.
Toni Morrison

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I realized I was more convincing to myself and to the people who were listening when I actually said what I thought, versus what I thought people wanted to hear me say.
Ursula Burns

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Turn off the radio, TV, DVD, iPod, computer and cell phone. Then, listen.
Gina Greenlee

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An effective leader is also an effective listener.
Artika Tyner

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When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life.
Brenda Ueland

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Listening is power, listening to yourself is a superpower!
Sukant Ratnakar

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One of the benchmarks of great communicators is their ability to listen not just to what's being said, but to what's not being said as well. They listen between the lines.
Laurie Buchanan

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Right to speak comes with a duty to listen.
Amit Kalantri

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During a conversation, listening is as powerful as loving.
Amit Kalantri

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There are times that all you need is someone who will listen to you without judging you — not telling you what you should have done or should do, but simply, listening to you.
Bernard Kelvin Clive

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Featured image credit: pawel_czerwinski/ Unsplash

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About the Author
April Dávila
April Dávila is a lover of words. Her debut novel "142 Ostriches" was released in 2020.
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