To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
We only consult the ear because the heart is wanting.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
No man would listen to you talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next.
—E. W. Howe (1853–1937) American Novelist, Editor
There is only one rule to become a good talker, learn how to listen.
A man is already halfway in love with any woman who listens to him.
—Brendan Behan (1923–64) Irish Poet, Novelist, Playwright
My first rule of conversation is this: I never learn a thing while I’m talking. I realize every morning that nothing I say today will teach me anything, so if I’m going to learn a lot today, I’ll have to do it by listening.
—Larry King (1933–2021) American TV Personality, Radio Personality, Journalist
I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.
—Diane Sawyer (b.1945) American Journalist, TV Personality
A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?
They’re fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.
—Lillian Hellman (1905–84) American Dramatist, Memoirist
To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.
—John Marshall (1755–1835) American Judge, Lawyer
God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can hear twice as much as we say.
Most men believe that it would benefit them if they could get a little from those who have more. How much more would it benefit them if they would learn a little from those who know more.
—William J. H. Boetcker (1873–1962) American Presbyterian Minister
To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all true conversation.
It takes a great man to be a good listener.
—Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933) American Head of State, Lawyer
If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk.
—Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell (1857–1941) English Soldier, Founder of the Boy Scouts
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d preferred to talk.
—Doug Larson (1926–2017) American Columnist
It takes a great man to make a good listener.
—Arthur Helps (1813–75) British Essayist, Historian
The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
—Hubert Humphrey (1911–78) American Head of State, Politician
If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.
—Robert H. Schuller (1926–2015) American Christian Televangelist, Author
The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.
—James Cash Penney (1875–1971) American Entrepreneur
Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.
—American Indian Proverb
Home is where you can say anything you like cause nobody listens to you anyway.
I’m glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.
—Nikki Giovanni (b.1943) American Poet, Writer, Activist, Educator
No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
You can judge a good listener by asking the talker at the end of the conversation what the listener’s position is on the topic. If the talker doesn’t know, then the listener has probably done a good job of listening.
A good listener is a silent flatterer
The first duty of love is to listen.
—Paul Tillich (1886–1965) American Lutheran Theologian, Philosopher
People will feel safer around you and speak truthfully to you when they feel you are listening intently to them.
People should talk less and draw more. Personally, I would like to renounce speech altogether and, like organic nature, communicate everything I have to say visually.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. You can see that when you think how the friends that really listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius as though it did us good, like ultraviolet rays.
—Brenda Ueland (1891–1985) American Journalist Memoirist