“Are you listening or just waiting for your turn to talk?”

Robert Montgomery, author

It is essential that we become better and more willing listeners because one of the greatest barriers to a good conversation is the capacity, or lack of, to hear what is being said. We can fail to listen because we are too busy, too certain in our own view, to eager to speak or too stressed. This can get in the way of working safely.

Simply listening to someone, not advising or coaching but fully listening without judging, is one of the most healing things we can do for someone else.

Too often when people listen they instinctively want to help fix it, make it better. However, people need to resist the urge to do that, and instead of trying to fix or offer advice, just listen.


When holding a conversation ask everyone to listen by sitting silently as best they can, ….acknowledge that it can be hard to do as we can all get distracted or are too stressed to listen or we can’t resist the urge to say something

Celeste Headlee

One of our all time favourite TED talks ’10 ways to have better conversations’ is by Celeste Headlee who worked as a radio host for decades which means she knows a thing or two about conversations, and in particular listening.

“Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”