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© 1992, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide discusses why being a good listener is important, how it affects family and work life, some styles of poor listening, and provides ways to improve listening skills.

How often have you heard these statements? "You're not listening to me!"... "Why don't you let me finish what I'm saying?"... "If you only let me, I'll tell you!"... "I may as well be talking to a brick wall!... "You just don't understand!"... "But that's not what I said!"

If you hear any of these comments coming from your partner, children, friends, or co-workers, perhaps it's true that "you're not listening"--really listening to the people who are important in your life. Listening is the art of connecting with another person so you fully understand what they are saying and feeling. It is a vital and necessary skill needed in creating and maintaining a marriage, in parenting children effectively, and in working together and making effective decisions on the job.