Listening with Heart Makes A Difference

Who was the last person who actually listened to you?

Who was the last person you actually gave your full attention to?
I know what you’re thinking. YOU listen all the time.

But do you really?

Do we understand what it really means to listen? Do we comprehend what is the Heart of listening?

Do we realize that every person we will meet has something to teach us? Perhaps our job is to listen long enough to find out what that lesson is.

Isn’t it true that when people speak to us, we tend to jump right in and give our advice, our feedback and our judgment? And all too often we find ourselves fixing, lecturing or interrupting with way too many questions. We listen not as an act of curiosity, but rather for a chance to give clever responses.

We are all guilty of this because we are all human.

In order to reap the benefits of listening, we must let ourselves develop and expand our ability to concentrate and pay attention.

Listening with Heart is a skill – A skill that can be taught and can be learned, but most definitely must be developed.

The Heart of listening consists of:

  • Listening with heart is to summarize your understanding of what was just said.
  • Listening with heart is reframing what you have just heard.
  • Listening with heart is not a passive skill, but an active art.
  • Listening from the heart is letting others know you understand what they said.
  • Listening from the heart assures others that you are really listening with your whole body; eyes, ears and all.

When listening, remember that it’s not about YOU, but about THEM.

If we are going to expand our KNOWLEDGE, we need to listen.

If we are going to be SUPPORTIVE, we need to listen.

If we are going to be RESPECTFUL, we need to listen.

If we are going to be COMPASSIONATE, we need to listen.

If we are going to illustrate EMPATHY, we need to listen.

Listening is the sincerest form of flattery and shows the deepest form of connection.

In order to live a life of leadership and meaningful connection, we have to consciously choose to slow down, give up our own agenda, and develop the capacity to focus on others by making an effort to fully understand them.

Socrates states, “Nature has given us two ears, two eyes and but one tongue to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak.

We need to cultivate Heart about the ways WE listen.

We need to simply give our undivided attention to another without imposing our own personal agenda.

Sometimes, this might take a little practice.

It is a generous act of giving when we allow someone the space to be exactly who they are and exactly who they are not. This takes the ability to authentically listen with Heart.

In organizations, poor listening is responsible for the loss of billions of dollars due to unnecessary mistakes, lost opportunities, ineffectiveness and deficiencies.

In relationships, poor listening is responsible for disconnectedness from our families, loved ones, friends and customers. It is the cause of breakdowns and break ups.

If we could hear our words, our comments, and our feedback through the ears of our listeners, we might be horrified with our insensitivity and negativity.

The Heart of listening requires focus and a desire to learn and gain perspective. It takes effort to realize our inner barriers we have built towards others, which we must learn to put aside.

By listening with an open Heart, it is love in action. By listening with mindfulness, it is the way for making every interaction become memorable.

Lead from within: The Heart of listening is a gift to yourself and others. everyone you meet can impact and change your life.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Additional Reading you might enjoy:


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. David Lapin

    09. Jan, 2012

    So beautiful. So deep, meaningful, important. I love the play on heART. I love the depth of the feeling in your piece. I love it’s value, it’s humanism, it’s deep, deep kindness.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

    09. Jan, 2012

    This is beautiful. As a counselor, I listen all day, but I try to stay very mindful about it!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      09. Jan, 2012


      Being a counselor who has to listen all the time can be difficult because you do a lot of listening and being human your mind can drift and your heart wants to fix.

      True listening is giving the space for another

      True listening is not so much fixing but understanding.

      If we can all just stand back and allow the space for loving, listening and understanding. The heart would be healed.

      Blessing to you.

      Reply to this comment
  3. JoAnn Jordan

    09. Jan, 2012

    Well said. True listening is a skill many do not learn. Your words have captured what is needed.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Wayne McEvilly

    09. Jan, 2012

    In a recent online interview I was asked this question: “What single individual that you follow makes the best use of Twitte?” – I thought and could resolutely answer @LollyDaskal –
    This post contains the essence of what I consider to be the most important teaching we can convey – the primal importance of Listening –
    I am constantly inviting children to listen to their own listening –
    There is much to say on this subject –
    at this point, I’ll content myself with saying: Thank you – Thank you for the community of LeadFromWithin and the spirit that inhabits all of your words. Right on!
    Write on! and even, yes, Rite on!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      09. Jan, 2012

      From my HEART to your HEART Thank You Wayne.

      You are a very special spirit one that is always cherished!

      The subject of listening is an extensive one and you are correct – there is so much to say on this subject.

      I struggled with trying to say a lot without being toooooo long. Listening from the HEART I think sums it up.

      I look forward to meeting you face to face and listening to the melodies of your heart!

      Love to you.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Jesse Stoner

    09. Jan, 2012

    Beautifully written and well said, Lolly. An excellent reminder of how much it means to us when we receive someone’s undivided attention, and how important it is to give to others.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      09. Jan, 2012

      Thanks Jesse,
      As you know I am a great admirer of yours and your comment means a lot to me.
      It is important to LISTEN in SILENCE to hear what the heart has to say.
      To be understood is the biggest gift we can receive.
      To be Silent is the biggest present we can give others.
      Blessings dear friend

      Reply to this comment
  6. Matteo

    09. Jan, 2012

    Very interesting. I also think it’s important to learn to “read with the heart”. Especially today, that the Internet has made ​​it possible to write at all, it is important to be able to read articles like this one with the heart.

    Reply to this comment
  7. J. Michael McDade

    09. Jan, 2012

    Great post! I needed to read this today. Whenever I feel like I am not being heard it points back to the fact that I am not listening to others very well. Really enjoyed this post. God Bless!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      09. Jan, 2012

      J. Michael,

      Interesting thought….

      Whenever I feel like I am not being heard it points back to the fact that I am not listening to others very well.

      Something to ponder.
      Thanks for sharing


      Reply to this comment
  8. Joe High

    09. Jan, 2012


    I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone articulate this better. So true! Undivided attention is hard to come by and is not easy to give. I know it is appreciated when I receive it!


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      09. Jan, 2012

      Dear Joe,

      So great to see you here! Hope all is well!

      We all want undivided attention. We all want to be understood.
      If we could treat others the way we want to be treated. This world would be a much better place.

      Happy New Year My friend.

      Lots of blessings to you in 2012!

      Reply to this comment
  9. Simon Harvey

    09. Jan, 2012

    Lolly, your words paint such a beautiful picture of a beautiful heart and mind. Your spirit resonates across the waves to touches so many.

    I have to say that I always thought of myself as a good listener, but in the past year listening and speaking to you, I came to realize that I had been hearing in mono at best. With much practice and continual learning, I can honestly say though, that I have managed to receive much more in stereo, and the results have been quite enlightening.

    As it happens in the past two weeks I have done more listening of the heart and mind than I have done in quite some time. Listening to some amazing people that I have been graced to listen to while they share and offer there stories of struggles and strength. Listening to them has brought an amazing light, and enabled me to see deeper within myself than I have managed for some time. This of course has come from listening, and listening without judgement. In being there in the moment, in letting go of everything but the words and the passion in which they were being spoken.

    The lessons of listening have spread much hope and knowledge that is hard to put to words. But I thank you for your beautiful heart and mind, for listening to me and sharing your leadership from within. You graced my life in 2011, and I look forward to many more as I listen to your strength from within, learning as the knowledge slowly settles after words have gone.

    It is rare that anyone we meet does not leave us with a lesson of some kind, if we can hear over our own ego and judgment, the lessons are there, and if (as you say ), we listen with open heart and open mind.

    Thank you for a wonderful post,

    I hear you, I see you, I listen within.


    Reply to this comment
  10. Frank Seidelmeier

    10. Jan, 2012

    Dear Lolly,

    that was touching and so true.

    Thank you so much.


    Reply to this comment
  11. Liz Slominska

    10. Jan, 2012

    This is so true!

    Listening with your hart is Especially needed in Real Estate business!
    We still keep forgeting that such a skill was ,is and will be a MUST on daily basis!

    It is a great post!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Jeff Jackson

    10. Jan, 2012

    Thanks so much for this thoughtful piece! I was recently asked to help a client develop better listening skills and this provides an invaluable roadmap! Cheers!

    Reply to this comment
  13. Greg Gamble

    10. Jan, 2012

    One of my four children recently told me twice in a week that she didn’t think I was listening to her. I cant remember the last time someone told me that. It took several days of wrestling with some honest questions, but in the end, she proved to be correct. As a matter of fact, At this moment, I believe the root of my ‘thinking I knew her better than she knows herself” originated 20 yrs before when she was a child. Still working on that. I’ve begun an inner conversation with myself about my other 3 children as well. I suspect her love and respect for me and my wife might have kept her from challenging me on something she was hurt by. I guess the heart sees what the eyes miss, but only if we are listening.
    Thankyou Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  14. Kendra

    10. Jan, 2012

    This was a wonderful article and a great reminder.
    Thanks Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
  15. Dr. Ada

    10. Jan, 2012

    Loved your post Lolly! This phrase especially resonated with me: ” listening with an open Heart, is love in action.”

    Like you, I believe that the heart needs to be engaged in our interactions, and especially in our communication.

    Thanks you for a great post.

    Dr. Ada

    Reply to this comment
  16. Emelia

    11. Jan, 2012

    I had no idea during the chat lastnight, that when I wrote “listen with heart”, it was the title of your latest blog post. In fact, my daily post today was based on those words.

    Your vibration clearly affected mine. Thank you for sharing such positivity.

    Reply to this comment
  17. vicki

    12. Jan, 2012

    thank you… 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  18. Nozipho

    13. Jan, 2012

    Great post, thanks. Listening with the heart would benefit from an absence of fear, fear that the other person may perceive you as unaware, fear of failure, loss of status,etc.

    Satisfaction with who I am, the value I bring will make me an excellent listener.

    Reply to this comment
  19. GLN2011

    13. Jan, 2012

    When we leave our fears that we are inadequate as leaders, parents, wives etc, we will listen with the heart.

    Great post.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Blake Cavignac

    15. Jan, 2012


    I believe that leading from within starts with listening. In a world where self interest seems to take priority, it is the art of listening that separates the great leaders.

    The outlook that everyone you meet can impact and change your life is powerful. It is one that everyone should adopt if they aspire to master the art of listening.

    Thanks for the remarkable insight!


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      16. Jan, 2012


      I love the great addition of your wisdom: “Leadership begins with Listening” You are so correct.
      And yes I agree, everyone can impact and change the world its a mantra I say often and I truly believe in it.


      Reply to this comment
  21. Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach

    15. Jan, 2012

    The essence you express here goes far beyond tips and tricks — it is inspiration for growth.

    Best regards and thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  22. Michael Ciszewski

    16. Jan, 2012

    Hi Lolly —

    Couldn’t agree more with so much of what’s here. Taking the time and energy to listen is one of the most important things any leader (or anyone, for that matter) can do for and with another human being.

    One of my favorite ideas about listening comes from Robert Dunham. He says that speaking is the art of listening to the listening.

    How do you know when someone else of really listening to you? I have three simple rules:
    1) She is present. Hard to define, but you know when you have it.
    2) She is not having her own conversation, either internally or externally.
    3) She is not trying to solve your problem.

    I look forward to being a regular visitor here.

    Reply to this comment
  23. Stephanie Smith

    19. Jan, 2012


    Thanks for the great post. I think the best listener is one that listens first and thinks second. In this fast paced world we can often find ourselves “listening” but forming a response all at the same time. If we are truly listening we would hear the person out then respond last.

    Keep up the great work!

    Reply to this comment
  24. Nancy's Point

    27. Aug, 2012


    Such an important message. As a person who had a cancer diagnosis two years ago, I found people often wondered what to do or say. Now I find myself offering this advice again and again. Just be there. Just listen. Your post offers helpful advice on how to go about doing this. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  25. Michelle Colon-Johnson

    13. Jan, 2014

    What a beautiful and insightful post. Anyone can talk but it requires heart to listen. Thanks for sharing, Lolly!

    -Michelle Colon-Johnson

    Reply to this comment
  26. Robert Hubbard

    25. Oct, 2014

    What an important article. I think it’s a natural inclination to problem solve and interject our own wisdom as we listen. Which in turn can actually short-change the experience for both parties. But if we can readjust our focus to provide a venue for the speaker to unburden themselves; with the focus on garnering an understanding for where they are in that moment. We can make our connections so much more meaningful.

    Reply to this comment
  27. Akbar khan achakzai

    13. Dec, 2017

    Nice l am always waiting for your blogg..thanks for sharing this top…

    Reply to this comment
  28. Maryam

    04. Jan, 2018

    I enjoyed of your articulation about listening. I believe listening is the highest act of giving exactly as you said ‘giving the space’ to another human to feel connection with each other essences. I’m reading your tweets more recently.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and thoughts. Its helpful.
    Thank you with Love!

    Reply to this comment

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