What Skills Make A Good Listener?

What Skills Make A Good Listener?

Dr. K is dropping into the blog to talk about what it means to be a good listener:

why Kristen is a good listener

“I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this.” 

Y’all, the number of times someone has said this to me is legion. I smile and tell them I’m honored to get their story and encourage them to continue. 

Sometimes they ask if I’m a therapist and I say no, I’m a social worker. 

And the number one skill my social work education helped me hone? 


People tell me things about their lives – sometimes deep things, often painful things, usually things they would never tell their friends in a bar – because I listen. I make sure I’m paying attention to them, that my body is oriented towards them, that I’m making eye contact if they want it. 

It’s not only a huge part of my personal life, but it’s a trademark of my professional one. We promise our clients that we listen to them and we do our best to do just that. To hear beyond words, to pick up on tones, to ask clarifying questions, to pay attention and get curious. 

For me and for us, it’s been a core value for a long time. 

Do you think you’re a good listener?

key active listening skills

We hear often from clients that listening and comprehension are two of the biggest skill deficits they face. And yet, ‘How to Be a Good Listener’ is not a popular training topic. In light of Kristen being such a good listener, we’re going to share some of her top tips for active listening.

  1. Listening means more than waiting for the person to finish speaking. We often have conversations where we get so invested in making our own points, we often aren’t listening to what the person is really saying.
  2. Body language matters. Make sure you are facing your speaking partner and paying attention to any non verbal cues they might be giving you.

We hope our tips help you learn and practice better active listening skills!


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