How to Improve Listening Skills to Increase Impact

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how to improve listening skills to increase impact

Your Coaching Purpose

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said” –Peter Drucker

How can you improve listening skills to increase impact? Your main function as a coach is to elicit information from your clients and support them in getting the results they desire so they can achieve a transformation.

In their Code of Ethics, the International Coach Federation defines coaching as, “…partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

To be effective in meeting the goals incorporated in the function of the coach, as well as measure up to what’s required by the ICF Code of Ethics, listening skills are essential. 

A good coach desires to empower others to be in control of their life .  In order to do this effectively, it’s important that the coach become a good listener. In fact, it’s recommended that as a coach you should speak only 20% of the time.  The other 80% should be spent listening to your client.

There is a significant difference between hearing and listening.  Good listening means listening to what’s being said, as well as listening to what is not being said. 

Non-Judgmental Listening Skills to Increase Impact

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey

As a coach and as a participant on the receiving end, when you practice being a good listener, it enables you and your coachee to reach and achieve phenomenal progress and results. 

Listening is the key to understanding and tapping into the resources an individual or group has to offer.

By taking the time to listen in a non-judgmental way, and take into consideration each point put forth, the respect level on both parties is heightened.  Your client will perceive that you’re truly listening, hearing and supporting her, so that together you can create solutions to any challenges she’s experiencing.


Leaders Benefit When They Improve Listening Skills

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” –Diogenes

Leaders also benefit when they strive to improve listening skills to increase impact.  Your own qualities as a leader will grow, and when you take time to listen to others and get to know their true character and behavior, you’re able to assess, more effectively, those in your sphere who have the potential to become leaders.  By engaging in active listening, a leader ensures proper evaluations are done on the various aspects of a particular project.  At the same time he/she takes time to listen to the opinions of those involved to get their perspective

It’s often said that we have two ears and one mouth (tongue) for a reason and we should listen more than we speak.  It can be a challenge because many times we want to bring about a solution immediately without listening to all the facts, and listening for what’s not said. When you do not listen to all possible information, the results may have a negative impact and not be as advantageous as they might have been.


In order to improve listening skills to increase impact, you must pay attention to the other person very carefully.  Listen to what’s being said and what is not said.

Do not allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you. Avoid forming counter arguments that you’ll make when the other person stops speaking. Instead, focus on what the other person is saying and actively listen.



How to Improve Listening Skills to Increase Impact — 5 Comments

  1. This is such an important key to building relationships, both in business and in our personal lives, Yvonne! Truly listening to hear another, is a great way to honour them and let them know they matter. Unfortunately the art of listening is sorrily missing from many conversations in our world these days. You’ve highlighted so many of the key points in your piece and the quotes really support the message that listening is both a skill and an art, one that our world would greatly benefit from more of.

  2. I agree with Beverly. I think our listening skills are a major key to healthy relationships both personal and professional. I like that you are mentioning listening to what is said and what is “not” being said. I think it takes time to develop that skill but with time, it can become an asset for being able to truly help others.

  3. Hi Yvonne,

    Listening is a very important ingredient in effective communication. It is important that we learn how to listen actively that is not just simply hearing but understanding what is said and not said 🙂 Thanks for sharing this great article 🙂

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Thank you for visiting and strengthening the conversation by your keen observations. Active listening is a very important aspect of communication and should be practiced as much as possible.

  4. I am doing Master Life Coaching Program. I will be soon a certified life coach. I was researching about the listening skills and found your article. You have written a wonderful article and it helped me a lot.

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