179 Listening Quotes That Express the Importance of Listening

Listening is an integral part of every relationship, including the one with ourselves.

There is a lot of listening quotes to sift through, but the following 50 speak of what happens when you listen: to others, to yourself, and even to nature.

What does it mean to be a good listener?

Listening is a skill, and here are some reasons we should all strive to improve our listening abilities.

Some of these quotes will even tell you how to be a better listener. 

After all, “Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.”

I think that oftentimes, that someone might be ourselves!

So take a breath, quiet your mind and read through these insightful listening quotes.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.

Listening quotes to improve your listening skills

1. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”― Ernest Hemingway

wise Listening Quotes

2. “Listening is an effect. Communication is cause.”― Meir Ezra

communication and Listening Quotes

3. “Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”― Ed Cunningham

Listening Quotes about friends

4. “Emma felt that she could not now show greater kindness than in listening.”― Jane Austen

Listening Quotes about kindness

5. “It takes a great man to be a good listener.”― Calvin Coolidge

Listening Quotes and sayings

6. “An appreciative listener is always stimulating.”― Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Listening Quotes About Appreciation

7. “Listen with the will to learn.”― Unarine Ramaru

Listening Quotes About Learning

8. “Listen with your eyes as well as your ears.”― Graham Speechley

Insightful Listening Quotes

9. “When we listen, we hear someone into existence.”― Laurie Buchanan, PhD

Clever Listening Quotes

10. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”― Leo Buscaglia

Listening Quotes About Life

Listening quotes that will inspire you to hear more

11. “Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.”― Roy T. Bennett

Listening Quotes About Empathy

12. “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” – Bryant H. McGill

Listening Quotes About Respect

13. “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. Menniger

Listening Quotes About Friends

14. “Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.” – Henri Nouwen

Smart Listening Quotes

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15. “Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.” – Jane Goodall

Listening Quotes About Better Communication

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16. “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Listening Quotes About Curiosity

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of curiosity quotes that will inspire you to learn more about the world around you.

17. “People love to talk but hate to listen. 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. You can listen like a blank wall or like a splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller and richer.”― Alice Duer Miller

Listening Quotes About Taking Interest

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18. “Bravery is the choice to show up and listen to another person, be it a loved one or perceived foe, even when it is uncomfortable, painful, or the last thing you want to do.”― Alaric Hutchinson

Listening Quotes About Bravery

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19. “Listen with your eyes for feelings.” – Stephen Covey

Listening Quotes About Feelings

20. “Listen with ears of tolerance.” – Rumi

Listening Quotes About Tolerance

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21. “Listen with your mouth closed and your heart open.” – Christine Toda

Listening Quotes About Open Heart

22. “Listen with grace, with no judgment, without imposing the law.” – Joseph Prince

Listening Quotes About Grace

23. “Listen with your heart, you will understand.” – Pochahontas  

Listening Quotes About Heart

Listening quotes about success and wisdom

24. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”― Stephen R. Covey

Listening Quotes About Understanding

25. “Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”― Bernard M. Baruch

Listening Quotes About Successful People

26. “Part of being successful is about asking questions and listening to the answers.”― Anne Burrell

27. “Talk a little less, listen a little more, and you’ll be a lot wiser”― Eric Gibbons

28. “All wisdom was the result of listening to one’s own soul.”― Paulo Coelho

29. “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have rather talked.” – Mark Twain

30. “You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.” – Zig Ziglar

31. “Listening to and understanding our inner sufferings will resolve most of the problems we encounter.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

32.“One of great arts of communication is the skill of listening to people.”  ― Sunday Adelaja

33. “Are you listening or thinking when you are listening?”― Pawan Parashar

34. “I knew you talked to books. I didn’t realize they listened.”― Margaret Rogerson, Sorcery of Thorns

35. “Stop and listen. The story is everywhere.”― Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Painted Oxen

36. “Listen for silence.”― Frank Sonnenberg

37. “Listening is the secret to discovering great stories.” – Fyrefly London

38. “It’s a phenomenon that people treat lightly, and it should not be treated lightly. It’s something that is essential to human beings: listening to stories.” George Guidall

39. “Leaders are listeners, start listening. Listening happens through eyes, stay focused.”― C Muthu Palaniappan

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If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of wisdom quotes from the world’s greatest minds.

Witty and interesting listening quotes

40. “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”― Zeno of Citium, as quoted by Diogenes Laërtius

41. “There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”― G. K. Chesterton

42. “The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.”― Alfred Brendel

43. “Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.”― Gary Hopkins

44. “You can’t fake listening. It shows.”― Raquel Welch

45. “There’s more than one way to tell each other things, and there’s more than one way to listen, too.”― Katherine Hannigan, Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World

46. “Listening fast, and caring immediately, is a skill in itself.”― Amanda Palmer

47. “The art of conversation lies in listening”― Malcolm Forbes

48. “The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t talk much.”― Germain G. Glidden

49. “Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.” – Native American Proverb

50. “Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.” – Alan Alda

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Powerful listening quotes

51. “Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self.” – Dean Jackson

52. “Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.”— Robert A. Heinlein

53. “Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals.” – L. J. Isham

54. “Listening well and answering well is one of the greatest perfections that can be obtained in conversation.”– François de La Rochefoucauld

55. “Listening is about being present, not just about being quiet.” – Krista Tippett

56. “Honor your relationships by developing listening skills.”– Allan Lokos

57. “Listen to many, speak to a few.” – William Shakespeare

58. “Don’t think or judge, just listen.”– Sarah Dessen

59. “The worst of all listeners is the man who does nothing but listens.” – Charles Dickens

60. “Hold fast to your beliefs and others will listen.” – Christopher Paolini

Listening quotes to make you a better listener

61. “It is hard to listen while you were talking.” – Rachel Cusk

62. “Listen with an open heart. Hear with an open mind. Love with open arms.” – Charles F Glassman

63. “Listen and you’ll be heard.”― Abhijit Naskar

64. “If you love listening more than talking, you may love more reading more than writing.” – Luigina Sgarro

65. “You cannot see someone unless you are willing to listen to them.” – Andre Freimann

66. “Those who have a listening heart can hear the song of silence.” – Debasish Mridha

67. “If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.” – Turkish Proverb

68. “Just because someone doesn’t respond doesn’t mean they are not Listening.” – Michelle Carithers

69. “To be heard you must first listen.”― Abhijit Naskar

70. “The intelligent talk and the wise listen.” – Raheel Farooq

More listening quotes and sayings

71. “You should listen to people who don’t talk much.”― Robert Celner

72. “I listened more than I studied, therefore little by little my knowledge and ability were developed.” – Joseph Haydn

73. “Listening is a magnetic force.” – Karl A. Menninger

74. “If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.” – Robert Baden-Powell

75. “Sometimes it was enough just to listen to voices that weren’t your own.”― Claire Lombardo

76. “Listening to others’ viewpoints may reveal the one thing needed to complete your goals.” – D. Ridgley

77. “Tell a person they’re wrong, and they’ll cover their ears. Tell a person they’re right, and they’ll listen to you all day long.”― Alice Feeney

78. “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.” – Lisa M. Hayes

79. “You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen – not just money but respect.” – Harvey Mackay

80. “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” –Rumi

Listening Quotes To Teach You The Importance of Listening To Others

81. “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.” — Woodrow Wilson

82. Leaders must understand who holds the conch—that is, who should be listened to and when.” — Max De Pree

83. “You have to be willing sometimes to listen to some remarkable bad opinions. Because if you say to someone, ‘That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard; get on out of here!’—then you’ll never get anything out of that person again, and you might as well have a puppet on a string or a robot.” — John Bryan

84. “We should never pretend to know what we don’t know, we should not feel ashamed to ask and learn from people below, and we should listen carefully to the views of the cadres at the lowest levels. Be a pupil before you become a teacher; learn from the cadres at the lower levels before you issue orders.” — Mao Tse-tung

85. “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 Nichols

86. “Effective listeners remember that “words have no meaning – people have meaning.” — Larry Barker

87. “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” — M. Scott Peck

88. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill

89. “It is the province of knowledge to speak And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

90. “A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while, he gets to know something.” — Wilson Mizner

Listening quotes to inspire and teach

91. “Being listened to and heard is one of the greatest desires of the human heart. And those who learn to listen are the most loved and respected.” – Richard Carlson

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92. “Listening is loving.” – François Lelord

93. “When a person comes to talk to you, you should be patient and listen.” – Chaim Potok

94. “I listened and looked so hard that my ears hurt and my eyes got cloudy with the cold.” – Jane Yolen

95. “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.” – Parker J. Palmer

96. “With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing.” – Catherine Doherty

97. “I began to listen with my eyes, and there is no way that your eyes don’t affect your judgement. The only true way to listen is with your ears and your heart.” – Malcolm Gladwell

98. “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” – Jimi Hendrix

99. “If you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it?” – Tom Schulman

100. “The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” – Richard Moss

Listening Quotes To Help You Note Important Ideas

101. “The discipline of the writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him.” — Rachel Carson

102. “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen.” — Rachel Naomi Remen

103. “Love begins with listening.” — Fred Rogers

104. “Listening to people keeps them entertained.” — Mason Cooley

105. “Man’s inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively.” — Carl Rogers

106. “Learn to listen. It’s amazing the ideas that pop into your head while people are saying them into your ear.” — Robert Breault

107. “When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life.” — Brenda Ueland

108. “When you are deeply contemplative, you listen more carefully and understand things which cannot be articulated.” — David A. Cooper

109. “Skillful listening is the best remedy for loneliness, loquaciousness, and laryngitis.” — William Arthur Ward

110. “Lead by listening – to be a good leader you have to be a great listener.” — Richard Branson

Listening Quotes To Inspire Active Listening

111. “This is the problem with dealing with someone who is actually a good listener. They don’t jump in on your sentences, saving you from actually finishing them, or talk over you, allowing what you do manage to get out to be lost or altered in transit. Instead, they wait, so you have to keep going.” ― Sarah Dessen

112. “Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears.” ― Criss Jami

113. “We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionally.” ― Susan Cain

114. “You’re short on ears and long on mouth.” ― John Wayne

115. “Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” ― Madeleine L’Engle

116. “It’s not at all hard to understand a person; it’s only hard to listen without bias.” ― Criss Jami

117. “The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” ― William Hazlitt

118. “I tried to discover, in the rumor of forests and waves, words that other men could not hear, and I pricked up my ears to listen to the revelation of their harmony.” ― Gustave Flaubert

119. “Half the time you think your thinking you’re actually listening” ― Terence McKenna

120. “She recognized that that is how friendships begin: one person reveals a moment of strangeness, and the other person decides just to listen and not exploit it.” ― Meg Wolitzer

Listening Quotes for Effective Communication

121. “You see pain with your eyes, but you sympathize with your ears. Sometimes the greatest way to serve someone is just by listening. Behind every need is a story.” — Rick Warren

122. “A lot of my best communication has come from listening.” — Corrina Thurston

123. “In addition to comforting, you can help in another way, too – by listening.” — Robbie Miller Kaplan

124. “Slightly leaning towards the other person is an indication that you are actively listening, while leaning away may be interpreted as disinterest.” — Liam Jackson

125. “I can assure you that if you develop a habit and skill to listen better to others, they will like you better and they will listen to you more.” — Christian Olsen

126. “Another vitally important attribute along the road to wisdom in interpersonal success is to listen well, or what should be understood as active listening.” — Catherine Pulsifer

127. “And in a world where there’s too much noise and not enough signal, listening is critical.” — Peter Shankman

128. “It is hard to listen when you are talking, or when you are thinking of a response!” — Catherine Pulsifer

129. “When you talk to your child, mostly listen.” — Cindy Cashman

130. “Listen to understand rather than listen to respond.” — Barack Obama

Listening Quotes To Note Important Information

131. “You know, I have come to think listening is love, that’s what it really is.” — Brenda Ueland

132. “When you listen, it’s amazing what you can learn. When you act on what you’ve learned, it’s amazing what you can change.” — Audrey McLaughlin

133. “When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air.” — Stephen Covey

134. “The sheer act of listening speaks volumes that even a great speech can’t communicate.” — John C. Maxwell

135. “Listening is a reciprocal process – we become more attentive to others if they have attended to us.” — Margaret J. Wheatley

136. “While the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes that right important.” — Walter Lippmann

137. “The art of listening needs its highest development in listening to oneself; our most important task is to develop an ear that can really hear what we’re saying.” — Sydney J. Harris

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138. “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” — Dalai Lama

139. “Indeed – judicious, consistent parenting is a dream of mine. No judgements, learning space and listening carefully are my goals.” — Emma Thompson

140. “The first duty of love is to listen.” — Paul Tillich

Listening Quotes To Make You Pay Close Attention

141. “I’m glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.” ― Nikki Giovanni

142. “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” ― Peter Drucker

143. “I listen to the stillness of you, / My dear, among it all; / I feel your silence touch my words as I talk, / And take them in thrall.” ― David Herbert

144. “Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.” ― Plutarch

145. “What we hear is the quality of our listening.” ― Robert Fripp

146. “So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

147. “There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves.” ― Albert Guinon

148. “I assure you that you can pick up more information when you are listening than when you are talking.” ― E.B. White

149. “There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.” ― James Nathan Miller

150. “Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in other people.” ― Marion Wright Edelman

Illuminating Wisdom in Listening Quotes

151. “I love to write and to get to know the people who are listening.” ― Emilie Autumn

152. “A good teacher is one, that never stops listening; a good listener is one, that never stops teaching.” ― Anthony Liccione

153. “The art of hearing what somebody has to say is actually, listening.” ― Colette Ruland Parrino

154. “The best listeners are often those with the quietest heart.” ― Marie Sabillo

155. “They listened more than they talked, but that was the way of wise men and women.” ― Lee Goff

156. “Speaking from the heart is simple. Listening wholeheartedly, however, is much, much more difficult and most rare.” ― Chris Murray

157. “The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them.” ― Kin Hubbard

158. “Unfortunately most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ― Ziad K. Abdelnour

159. “Listen to people from your heart, as if your life depended on it, and you will find that in turn people will listen to you with all of theirs.” ― Chris Murray

160. “A skilled listener can help people tap into their own wisdom.” ― Richard Rohr

Exploring Listening Quotes for Effective Communication

161. “Listen to your intuition and the quiet promptings of your heart.” ― Bryant McGill

162. “There is no greater path than the act of listening.” ― Bryant McGill

163. “Always choose to trust yourself and your ability to listen.” ― Bryant McGill

164. “Learn to listen when people are talking. First, it’s a great art, and second, it’s quite possible that when people say one thing they mean another.” ― Julie Andrews Edwards

165. “You have permission to walk away from anything that doesn’t feel right. Trust your instincts and listen to your inner-voice — it’s trying to protect you.” ― Bryant McGill

166. “When the voices of doubt start whispering, turn-up the volume of faith and listen to your heart.” ― Bryant McGill

167. “You are being guided when you need it most — if you will just listen.” ― Bryant McGill

168. “When we want to talk, we can instead listen, and let our attentiveness to another’s need to speak, be our silent statement.” ― Bryant McGill

169. “Listen to your heart, it will guide you on the right path.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

170. “It is a tremendous gift to simply and truly listen to another.” ― Bryant McGill

171. “Silence made space for other people’s words, which was important for those who needed to be listened to.” ― Rachel Simon

172. “May you hear the voice of wisdom. Listening, may you act with trust.” ― Charlene Costanzo

173. “In this vast cosmic orchestra, peace is the music of every heart. Our glory lies in understanding, listening and honoring that music.” ― Amit Ray

174. “Listening is the key. The whole objective of a howl is to be heard.” ― Amit Pandey

175. “Talking doesn’t get your point across but listening does.” ― Debasish Mridha

176. “I was born with the ability to see in metaphor.” ― Mark Nepo

177. “The voice of the Soul can be heard within the silence of the unaffected mind. Listen.” ― KA Chinery

178. “A good listener is one who always pays attention, not to gain, but to learn.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson

179. “If you are a good leader, you are a good listener.” ― Miggy Villas

What did you learn from these listening quotes?

The value found in being a good listener is undeniable.

Maybe the next time you find yourself in the quiet of nature you might listen a little differently.

What would it mean to you if someone in your life started listening to you a little more?

I know I wish my kids would listen to me more, but first, maybe I need to hear the things they aren’t saying.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like How to Listen to Your Sould and Find Peace.

Did you find something you can implement the next time you find yourself in a conversation with someone?

Has your inner voice been trying desperately to get you to pay attention?

Which of these listening quotes and sayings resonated with you best?

Let me know by leaving a comment below!

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1 Comment
  1. K.P

    October 14, 2022 at 2:09 PM

    Loved this. Thanks

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