• Dr. Betty

The Cardinal Rules of Good Listening

Updated: Mar 19, 2019


Asking the right questions and listening are a great beginning for effective communications. Let’s begin with some cardinal rules of good listening:

  • Don’t interrupt

  • Be empathetic

  • Maintain a comfortable physical distance

  • Be involved, but not too intense

  • Don’t let your body language impact the free flow of info

  • Self-disclose, but not too much. Too soon

  • “Listen” with all of your sense.

  • Create an environment for great conversations: Consider where and when your conversations should take place, and who else, if anyone should be present. If the conversation is important, don’t leave the setting to chance.


Prepare questions” productive conversation is stimulated by good questions to keep the conversation moving and information flowing your way. Questions that call for information about the three most predictive traits-compassion, socioeconomic background, and satisfaction with life-can be a good place to begin.


Active listening is turning up your sensitivity to substance and ton so that you absorb the meaning of what a person has said. It also means giving people time to fully express themselves without interruption. Don’t just allow them to finish, leave a little space, a pause, before you dive in. Also, at the end of a conversation, provide an opportunity for the person to say something else before you say good-be. Suggestion-at the end of a phone call or conversation ask, “Is there anything else we need to talk about?”

Be 100% in the moment. You do not fool people if you do other things while you are supposed to be listening. Moreover, multi-tasking when you’re supposed to be listening usually prolongs the conversation, so it isn’t even efficient.

© 2019 DR. BETTY ORLANDINO, PHD                PRIVACY POLICY