Listening is one of the essential soft skills. It is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Bridging the gap between listening and answering is an essential skill in effective communication.  It involves actively engaging with the speaker, understanding their message, and providing a thoughtful response.


According to Stephen Covey, “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.” Even though you might have a lot to say, sometimes it’s best not to respond. It takes effort to quiet our thoughts and really hear what another person is saying.


Listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. As a result, communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.


Remember to listen to understand not to respond. If there is one communication skill you should aim to master, then listening is it.

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