Listening Skills 101

Above anything else, great communication skills require great listening skills. This applies to every situation that you will find yourself in. You should make it your mission to genuinely understand the other person. You should work to understand what they are saying, why they are saying it, and what they want. 


You can become a great listener by working to hear emotions and unspoken meanings. When a patient is describing a problem they may be having with your practice, be sure to pay attention to the issues they are having. Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t you hate having to repeat yourself? Your patient is no different. Make sure that you respond when appropriate to indicate that you are listening, but don’t interrupt — as this will lead them to believe that you weren’t.


This may seem simple, but it differs from what many people do when communicating with others. Believe it or not, our instinct is to jump in with a solution as soon as it comes to mind. However, by doing this, you may not fully understand their problem or offer the best solution. Instead, wait it out and fully hear what they have to say first. You will have a better grasp on where your patient is at, and what the best possible method of helping them will be. They will notice that they have your full attention. 



Patients want special treatment, choices, high-quality care, and treatment, and reliability, and they want it immediately. The only way to truly understand what they are seeking is to listen carefully, and to implement these tips for improving your listening skills into your daily habits. 



It might be hard to gauge whether or not you’re a good listener off the top of your head. However, properly assessing yourself is a great way to improve your abilities. 


Click on the link below, make a copy of the document, and fill it out with your own answers. Remember to be ruthlessly honest with yourself! This is only for your own benefit. 


Click here to access the self-assessment evaluation!


What was your total score? Are you an outstanding listener, or do you need improvement? Take note of the results from your self-assessment, and use them to improve your abilities further.