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Listening Skills for the Workplace


There is an expanding awareness in business of the value of good listening skills. To ignore this important tool in today's competitive business environment can lead to costly errors, wasted time, an absence of teamwork, unsatisfactory service and misunderstandings at all levels. As the old saying goes, "It pays to listen."

Yet, despite its importance, listening is often at the bottom of the hierarchy of communication skills taught at the work place. Most people have far more training in reading, writing, and speaking than they do in listening- even though all of us spend far more time listening. A study by Wolvin & Coakley in 1991 found that most experts agree that people spend about 9% of waking hours writing, 15% reading, 30% speaking, and 45% listening. For executives, studies show that time spent listening is even higher-55% or more on the average each day.

More than 35 general business studies conducted over the past few years demonstrate that listening-centered communication improves results. The studies demonstrate that:

  • Schools devote too little direct instruction in to listening as part of their language arts curricula even though it is a basic skill required of all employees in the workplace. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, What Work Requires of Schools (1991)
  • Ineffective listening throughout organizational structures results in low morale, high absenteeism and turnover, low productivity, lack of upward communication, and ineffective horizontal communication. (Brownell, 1994)
  • Employee listening ability has a definite impact on their productivity. (Papa & Glen, 1988)
  • 46% of those who quit their jobs did so because they felt not listened to and were therefore unappreciated. (U.S. Department of Labor, 1999)
  • Effective listening is a skill that needs to be developed as a prerequisite for successful practice of the more 'active' skills of speaking and writing. (Goby & Lewis, Nanyang Technological University, 2003)

The detailed self-assessment covers the 6 aspects of listening to others. The result provides you with an overall percentage for your listening profile as well as a breakdown of your profile in all 6 aspects of listening: memory, open-mindedness, respect, empathy, attention, and response.

This detailed feedback, together with the detailed explanations of all 28 questions, serves as a guide through the rest of the course. The course then takes you through the 5 major Listening Blocks, and a comprehensive explanation as to how and why blocking occurs. The 5 major Listening Blocks are: tune out, detach, rehearse, control, and judge. In addition, we provide an an exercise to test your understanding. You are then introduced to the elements of our CORE Listening Model:

  • Choose to listen: How can we ''be here now'' and show the speaker we are focused on what they have to say?
  • Open the communication: This covers all the elements you will need to use to show the speaker you are listening.
  • Reflect the essence: Here you learn how to demonstrate to the speaker that you have heard their message.
  • Expand the communication: Now that you know the model, how do you move back into the speaker''s role gracefully?

Each of these sections goes into detail about what you need to know and do to become much better at listening.

Finally, there is a printable course summary that encapsulates all the points covered. There is no formal assessment.


Upon successful completion of this course you will have:

  • A detailed assessment of your listening strengths and weaknesses.
  • A working knowledge of the skills excellent listeners use to achieve their objectives.
  • Pointers on how to work on your listening back in everyday life.
  • A detailed summary of the course.


This course is self-directed; and therefore the desired outcome and final assessment ultimately rests with you.

course quick facts
course code DED350
cost $79.00
estimated time to
complete course
2 Hours
course materials
1 Days

Richard Anstruther is a performance improvement expert. He has been implementing strategies for businesses and developing online course in listening skills for the workplace for people for over 25 years. He offers students a highly successful listening program and system that is delivered completely online.