Good Questions Show Good Listening

Learn to understand people and help them understand themselves.

 

According to Robert L. Montgomery, author of Listening Made Easy, the ten most common characteristics of a good listener are:

 

  1. Looks at me while I'm speaking.
  2. Questions me to clarify what I'm saying.
  3. Shows concern by asking questions about my feelings.
  4. Repeats some things I say.
  5. Doesn't rush me.
  6. Is poised and emotionally controlled.
  7. Responds with a nod of the head, a smile, or a frown.
  8. Pays close attention.
  9. Doesn't interrupt me.
  10. Keeps on the subject until I've finished my thoughts.

I'm impressed that two of the top three characteristics have to do with the ability to ask questions. A good listener, it seems, is also someone who asks good questions. So over the years I've worked on asking good questions-ones that will both keep the discussion on target and help me know more about the person with whom I talk.