Best Practice

Leadership skills: Five tips for active listening

The secret to good communication is good listening – but do you listen to understand your colleagues or listen with the intent of responding? Emily Kenneally looks at how we can all listen better


Actively listening to colleagues builds trust, strengthens relationships, and encourages collaboration. It is a vital skill in life and the workplace, having a profound impact on the effectiveness of our work and our relationships with others.

Educator and author Stephen Covey has often said that most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.

Furthermore, he argues that the most effective communicators are great listeners.

It is important not to forget that like any skill, active listening takes time and practice. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be a perfect all the time.

Taking small steps and making gradual changes to the way you listen will be easier to achieve and much more likely to stick.

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