Active Listening

Stephan - Denver, Colorado
Entered on April 29, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

When I was a child, I did not listen to other people’s opinions. My mother often told me, “Listen carefully. You should concentrate to listen to other people until his end of the story.” Yes, I could not listen carefully by the end of their story because I can easily suggest what people want to say without listening to the end. Of course my recognition sometimes was different from their intention because I did not listen carefully.

However, I changed my mind when I was a college student. When I joined a group of camp leaders as a volunteer activity, I met a cute and pretty woman by whom I was shocked. Her name is Hiroko. She was a very good listener who can listen to people with not only her ears but also her eyes. When I talk with her, I overwhelmed her strong eye power. (In addition, she was so cute that my heart beats rapidly…) I felt that I could not compare with her at all. At that time, good listeners have a strong power and I want to become a good listener like her.

After that, I attempted to be a good listener. However, my long time bad habit could not be fixed so easily. Originally, I speak more than I listen and I cannot wait without saying what I want to say. I changed my mind. I attempted to look at the speaker’s eye during his or her talk and to listen more actively.

At that time, I got a chance to study in the United States. Due to my poor English ability, I need to concentrate on listening to people’s talk in order to understand what they say. After I begin to listen to other people’s speech carefully, I realized that active listening is not so easy because it requires high concentration.

I realized again that Hiroko’s strong power comes from her great active listening skills. When I listen to other people’s talk actively, I can understand their intention better and they also become talkative and give a lot of information to me. Active listening has a strong power.

I am not sure where and what Hiroko is doing now. If I have a chance, I would like to meet her and I want to let her recognize my active listening skill that I have changed.