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Welcome to our curated collection of quotes about listening. We hope you enjoy pondering them, please share widely, and please link back to us. With that, we'll be quiet, and listen... if you know of any good quotes we are missing, please let us know.

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

--Bryant H. McGill

Wrong perceptions cannot be removed by guns and bombs. They should be removed by deep listening, compassionate listening, and loving space.

--Thích Nhất Hạnh

You can practice deep listening in order to relieve the suffering in us, and in the other person. That kind of listening is described as compassionate listening. You listen only for the purpose of relieving suffering in the other person.

--Thích Nhất Hạnh

Effective listening is something that can absolutely be learned and mastered. Even if you find attentive listening difficult and, in certain situations, boring or unpleasant, that doesn't mean you can't do it. You just have to know what to work on.

--Travis Bradberry

The humble listen to their brothers and sisters because they assume they have something to learn. They are open to correction, and they become wiser through it.

--Fr. Thomas Dubay

In today's climate, listening is so compelling because it is so rare. Give the gift of listening to the kid in your life. Put down your phone and have a real conversation. Get to know him. Look him in the eyes.

--Sharilee Swaity

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.

--Ralph G. Nichols

No man would listen to you talk if he didn't know it was his turn next.

--Edward W. Howe

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.

--Sue Patton Thoele

Let your body call you back into yourself, into your most deeply embodied self. Land, dive, soar. Find the crumbs that lead back home.

--Cheryl Pallant

When I speak of the gifted listener, I am thinking of the nonmusician primarily, of the listener who intends to retain his amateur status. It is the thought of just such a listener that excites the composer in me.

--Aaron Copland

When we genuinely want to listen, we are bound to hear, as well as be heard.

--Abhijit Naskar

An appreciative listener is always stimulating.

--Agatha Christie

Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.

--Andre Gide

Listening is not just hearing what someone tells you word for word. You have to listen with a heart. I don't want that to sound touchy-feely; it is not. It is very hard work.

--Anna Deavere Smith

To be agreeable you must learn to be a good listener. A man who monopolizes a conversation is a bore, no matter how great his knowledge.


When you talk to yourself, at least you know that someone is listening.

--Craig Bruce

It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear.

--Dick Cavett

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.

--Doug Larson

It's only through listening that you learn, and I never want to stop learning.

--Drew Barrymore

The big secret in acting is listening to people.

--Eli Wallach

The best way to make a long story short is to stop listening.

--Evan Esar

Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble.

--Frank Tyger

The subconscious is ceaselessly murmuring, and it is by listening to these murmurs that one hears the truth.

--Gaston Bachelard

Lives are changed by a moment's listening to conscience, by a single and quiet inclination of the mind.

--George A. Smith

Many people make the mistake of confusing information with knowledge. They are not the same thing. Knowledge involves the interpretation of information. Knowledge involves listening.

--Henning Mankell

In Africa, listening is a guiding principle. It's a principle that's been lost in the constant chatter of the Western world, where no one seems to have the time or even the desire to listen to anyone else.

--Henning Mankell

Leaders can get stuck in groupthink because they're really not listening, or they're listening only to what they want to listen to, or they actually think they're so right that they're not interested in listening. And that leads to a lot of suboptimal solutions in the world.

--Jacqueline Novogratz

Ultimately, the best speakers are the ones who have put 10,000 hours into listening.

--James Altucher

The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream.

--Joan Didion

You're short on ears and long on mouth.

--John Wayne

Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.

--Joyce Brothers

Let's use our stories to encourage listening to one another and to hear not just the good news, but also the pain that lies at the back of a lot of people's stories and histories.

--Karen Armstrong

I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions.

--Lee Iacocca

You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.

--M. Scott Peck

Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.

--Madeleine L'Engle

If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.

--Marge Piercy

Listening to people keeps them entertained.

--Mason Cooley

Conversely, beware the man who does nothing but ask you questions about yourself and offers no information about himself. Not only is he keeping you at bay, he is probably not listening to your answers.

--Merrill Markoe

Listening to other people's needs is listening to God. Noticing simple, natural beauty, hearing music, even confronting the challenge of pain and problems -- that can all be listening to God too.

--Peter Kreeft

Anyone who takes the time to listen is either an old soul or a romantic one.

--Richelle E. Goodrich

I'd say that what we hear is the quality of our listening.

--Robert Fripp

There is a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak.

--Simon Sinek

Listening is active. At its most basic level, it's about focus, paying attention.

--Simon Sinek

The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand.
We listen to reply.

--Stephen Covey

Good listeners, like precious gems, are to be treasured.

--Walter Anderson

While the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes that right important.

--Walter Lippmann

One learns more from listening than speaking. And both the wind and the people who continue to live close to nature still have much to tell us which we cannot hear within university walls.

--Thor Heyerdahl

Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.

--Alan Alda

I do do a lot of talking, because it saves me listening.

--David Hockney

Listening is a positive act: you have to put yourself out to do it.

--David Hockney

It's about listening first, then selling.

--Erik Qualman

Again and again one can listen: this is my opinion, I think this or that... As if it matters, what one or the other thinks! The point is much more to what the truth is!

--Rudolf Steiner

When someone tells you something big, it's like you're taking money from them, and there's no way it will ever go back to being the way it was. You have to take responsibility for listening.

--Banana Yoshimoto

As a doctor, I've learned the importance and value of listening.

--Ami Bera

The word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent'.

--Alfred Brendel

Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us.

--Alice Duer Miller

There's something to be learned by listening and absorbing and watching before you start telling the people who have been there how to rearrange chairs.

--Anne Northup

Listening and being curious and wide-eyed in the world, I think, is what allows us to move forward, progress, evolve and learn and alter our behavior and become more self-aware. I think that listening is kind of what it's all about.

--Andrew Zuckerman

I like people, and I like listening to them because something that'll happen out of that conversation could be the title or the subject of the song.


Listening to something is an act of surrender.

--Brian Eno

If you want to make someone feel emotion, you have to make them let go. Listening to something is an act of surrender.

--Brian Eno

Sometimes listening is of greater value than speaking.

--Benjamin Watson

Just the act of listening means more than you can imagine to most employees.

--Bob Nelson

Sticking to your values, listening to your instincts, making your own choices is so important.

--Brittany Murphy

There is nothing wrong with listening. You can listen to people; you can hear people's concerns. You can keep an open mind and still be perfectly strong.

--Bill de Blasio

People will feel safer around you and speak truthfully to you when they feel you are listening intently to them.

--Brian Koslow

You have to master not only the art of listening to your head, you must also master listening to your heart and listening to your gut.

--Carly Fiorina

The essence of meditation is a period of time set aside to contemplate the Lord, listen to Him, and allow Him to permeate our spirits.

--Charles Stanley

Listening is more important than anything else because that's what music is. Somebody is playing something and you're receiving it. It is sending and receiving.

--Carla Bley

Listening to others does not mean you should sound like them; find your own voice by telling stories as authentically as possible.

--Carmen Agra Deedy

Storytelling is about listening in any media.

--Chris Vance

For me, masculinity is about control, and femininity is more of an embrace, the art of listening. It's very inspiring to explore the shadows of masculinity and femininity, and the tensions between both, and the place of women in the world right now.

--Denis Villeneuve

Listening to both sides does not necessarily bring about a correct judgment.

--Donald Rumsfeld

The measure of a conversation is how much mutual recognition there is in it; how much shared there is in it. If you're talking about what's in your own head, or without thought to what people looking and listening will feel, you might as well be in a room talking to yourself.

--Dylan Moran

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears by listening to them.

--Dean Rusk

The best way to persuade people is with your ears -- by listening to them.

--Dean Rusk

There is as much wisdom in listening as there is in speaking -- and that goes for all relationships, not just romantic ones.

--Daniel Dae Kim

Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.

--David W Augsburger

Listening is the essence of anything.

--David Lyons

Listening to what people were saying wasn't even important. But it was important to look as if you were listening to what people were saying. Actually, listening to what people are saying, to me, interferes with looking as if you were listening to what people are saying.

--Errol Morris

Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory.

--Emily Post

It is silent, an anagram for listen.
That is what I do. Listen while she remains silent.

--Eric Jerome Dickey

One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody's listening.

--Franklin P. Jones

Authenticity is the ability to listen to what nature tells us. Listening isn't the same thing as never making a mistake, but the important thing is to learn.

--Gerard Depardieu

Tone is often the most important part of a conversation -- and listening is so much more important than what you say.

--Hoda Kotb

There is something very basic to the sense of listening. The sense of hearing is the only one that operates totally from vibrations, without other physical or chemical reactions to receive the sensations.

--Henry Reed

Just because I didn't do what you told me, doesn't mean I wasn't listening to you!

--Hank Ketcham

One of the most important elements in teaching, conducting, and performing, all three, is listening.

--Itzhak Perlman

To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.

--John Marshall

Without credible communication, and a lot of it, the hearts and minds of others are never captured.

--John P. Kotter

The first rule of my speaking is: listen!

--Larry King

When you talk, you repeat what you already know; when you listen, you often learn something.

--Jared Sparks

I have often heard that the outstanding man is he who thinks deeply about a problem, and the next is he who listens carefully to advice.


When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die.

--Lillian Smith

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.

--Karl A. Menninger

A healthy state encourages many voices -- and lots of listening.

--Kathleen Sebelius

I think a lot of making art is listening to yourself.

--Kiki Smith

Listening moves us closer, it helps us become more whole, more healthy, more holy. Not listening creates fragmentation, and fragmentation is the root of all suffering.

--Margaret J. Wheatley
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