listen to others online


Listen To and Observe What Others are Saying

This step seems easy right?  You may be saying to yourself, “I got this one.  Let’s move on.”  Well, you may be surprised to discover that you’re not as good as you think.

“A study of over 8,000 people employed in businesses, hospitals, universities, the military and government agencies found that virtually all of the respondents believed that they communicate as effectively or more effectively than their co-workers.1  However, research shows that the average person listens at only about 25% efficiency.2  While most people agree that listening effectively is a very important skill, most people don’t feel a strong need to improve their own skill level.3 ” Scott D. Williams, Ph.D, Professor of Management at Wright State University

So if face-to-face communication in the workplace is this challenging, just think how bad you are at listening to your connections online.  Now, on a positive note… If the majority of people are terrible at communicating online, you will certainly stand out if you deliberately took the time to listen to and observe what others are say and posting.  Then actually comment with insightful feedback.  Here are some things you can listen for while interacting online:


  • Trends
  • News
  • Needs
  • Opportunities
  • Thought leaders


  • Personalities
  • Interests
  • Passions
  • Needs
  • Challenges
  • Stories
  • Successes

The more you actively listen to and observe what others are saying online, the more valuable your contribution will be to your connections.  You will be able to interact with others more relationally.  You will find yourself helping others in ways that you never expected.  Before you know it, you will begin to develop a personal brand perception that is caring, thoughtful, unselfish, and friendly.  These characteristics develop trusting relationships which are necessary to succeed in business today.

1.  Haney, W. V.  (1979).  Communication and interpersonal relations.  Homewood, IL: Irwin.
2.  Husman, R. C., Lahiff, J. M., & Penrose, J. M.  (1988). Business communication: Strategies and skills.  Chicago: Dryden Press.
3.  Spitzberg, B. H.  (1994).  The dark side of (in)competence.  In W.R. Cupach & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of interpersonal communication.  Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

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