Listening Quotes That Express the Importance of Listening
March 14, 2023 5:00 AM EST
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.
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According to a study conducted by Dr. Graham Bodie at Louisiana State University, effective listeners can remember 75% of what they hear during a conversation.
This demonstrates the power of active listening in retaining and processing information, making it a vital skill for personal and professional growth.
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
A study by Psychology Today revealed that we only retain about 25% of what we hear, suggesting that listening is a skill that requires deliberate practice to improve.
The study findings indicate the importance of active listening quotes to encourage those around us to become active listeners.
1. “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”― Ernest Hemingway
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2. “Listening is an effect. Communication is cause.”― Meir Ezra
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3. “Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer.”― Ed Cunningham
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4. “Emma felt that she could not now show greater kindness than in listening.”― Jane Austen
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5. “It takes a great man to be a good listener.”― Calvin Coolidge
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6. “An appreciative listener is always stimulating.”― Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles
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7. “Listen with the will to learn.”― Unarine Ramaru
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8. “Listen with your eyes as well as your ears.”― Graham Speechley
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9. “When we listen, we hear someone into existence.”― Laurie Buchanan, PhD
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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
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Listening quotes that will inspire you to hear more
A study by the University of Minnesota showed that active listening can reduce conflicts and misunderstandings, leading to more positive personal and professional relationship outcomes.
The study findings show that we can learn how to become better listeners and eventually communicate with those around us through reading and sharing listening quotes.
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
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12. “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” – Bryant H. McGill
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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19. “Listen with your eyes for feelings.” – Stephen Covey
20. “Listen with ears of tolerance.” – Rumi
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21. “Listen with your mouth closed and your heart open.” – Christine Toda
22. “Listen with grace, with no judgment, without imposing the law.” – Joseph Prince
23. “Listen with your heart, you will understand.” – Pochahontas
Listening quotes about success and wisdom
A study published in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior found that people who listen attentively and respond with appropriate nonverbal cues, such as eye contact and nodding, are perceived as more likable and trustworthy.
This supports the idea that effective listening not only improves communication but also strengthens interpersonal relationships.
24. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”― Stephen R. Covey
25. “Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”― Bernard M. Baruch
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
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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. “Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.” – Jane Goodall
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
Witty and interesting listening quotes
A Harvard Business Review study found that good listeners can improve team performance and promote creativity in the workplace.
By fostering an environment where employees feel heard, companies can benefit from increased innovation and problem-solving abilities.
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
In a study led by Dr. Ralph Nichols, known as the “Father of Listening,” it was found that the average person only retains about 25% of what they hear.
This highlights the need for improving listening skills in order to enhance comprehension and memory retention.
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
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
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
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.
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!
October 14, 2022 at 2:09 PM
Loved this. Thanks