Close this search box.

3 steps to success with Active Listening

Share Article

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” Ralph G. Nichols

Active listening in the workplace brings a world of positive change. Much like the legend of listening, Ralph Nichols says, when we listen, we create connections that build rapport and respect.

When we truly listen to our colleagues, we unlock a treasure trove of understanding and collaboration. We gain deeper insights, diverse perspectives, and the ability to work together to solve problems more effectively. By actively engaging in conversations, we foster an environment of trust, where ideas flourish and relationships thrive. This creates a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard, and inspired to contribute their best.

Together, we build strong bonds, boost productivity, and cultivate a culture of respect and innovation. So, let’s embrace the power of active listening and create a workplace where success and happiness go hand in hand.

Alistair McGowan, my good friend and even better impressionist, knows that listening is the key to improving your craft. When you listen to others, you can more appropriately meet their needs, whether in the workplace or on the comedy stage.

“Listening is the most important thing. Are you listening to what’s being said? Can you pick up on that so you can improve your funniness?” – Alistair McGowan

Comedian Mark Thomas agrees that listening is the key to great comedy and collaboration. He says,

“I think if you communicate well, you have to listen well. And all good comics listen.”

Although it may seem second nature, everyone must learn how to listen. When we learn to listen, we can lead with lightness and laughter while building a culture of rapport and respect. Here are some steps you can take to improve your active listening.

Step One

Give Your Full Attention:

When engaging in conversations with colleagues, make a conscious effort to give your full attention. Put away distractions, such as phones or laptops, and maintain eye contact to show that you are fully present. This demonstrates respect and signals that you value what the other person has to say. We all know how great it feels to be heard. Now imagine how great it would feel to give that gift to your colleagues and cohorts every time they communicate.

Step Two

Show Empathy and Seek Understanding:

Active listening involves showing empathy and seeking to understand your colleagues’ perspectives. Put yourself in their shoes and try to see things from their point of view. Listen not only to the words they are saying but also to their emotions and underlying concerns. Respond with empathy and validate their experiences, creating a safe and supportive environment. You must become a caring communicator before you can become a class act collaborator.

Step Three

Avoid Interrupting and Making Assumptions:

Practice restraint and avoid interrupting or jumping to conclusions while actively listening. Allow your colleagues to express themselves fully without interruption, and refrain from making assumptions or judgments. Instead, ask clarifying questions to gain a deeper understanding of their thoughts and feelings. This fosters open and honest communication, encouraging more meaningful and productive discussions.


By incorporating these actions into your active listening approach, you can cultivate strong work relationships, promote understanding, and create an inclusive environment where ideas can flourish. Personally, the benefits of active listening in the workplace go beyond the immediate impact on relationships and communication. When you truly listen to your colleagues, you foster a sense of mutual respect and trust. This creates a supportive atmosphere where individuals feel valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas. As a result, you unlock a wealth of creativity and innovation within the team. Our guests have shown us that high quality communication and collaboration leads directly to an improved creativity and compatibility in the workplace.

Moreover, active listening allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your colleagues’ needs, challenges, and aspirations. This knowledge provides you with valuable insights into how you can best support and collaborate with them. By actively engaging in conversations and practicing empathy, you build stronger connections and establish yourself as a reliable and dependable team member. This not only enhances your professional reputation but also creates a sense of personal fulfilment. When you see the positive impact your active listening has on your colleagues and the overall work environment, it becomes deeply rewarding.

The satisfaction that comes from fostering a harmonious and inclusive workplace, where everyone feels heard and valued, can contribute to your own growth, happiness, and long-term career success.

My guest on the Humourology Podcast, Actress Dani Klein Modisett, said it best when she said,

“Listening isn’t just with your ears, it’s active listening, body language, tone of voice, words, the whole enchilada. That comes right out of stand up, to be able to listen in that way to take in the whole energy in the room, whether it’s one on one, or a large audience, it’s absolutely essential.”

You can learn more about listening, laughing, and leading on each episode of The Humourology Podcast. Join us each week for a insightful interview with some of the best leaders in business, sport, politics, and entertainment. Hear from the experts how you can you listening to create a lighthearted and creative culture in the workplace.

One final thought.

Live with intention.

Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.

– Mary Anne Radmacher


See you next Tuesday.


Paul x


The Polls are open, it’s time to cast your vote!


If you feel that The Humourology Podcast has provided you with entertainment, learning, and laughter, featuring a glittering line-up of guests from the worlds of business, sport, and entertainment, then it’s time to take action. Your support can make all the difference!

Vote Now for The Humourology Podcast in the Listeners Choice category at the Great British Podcast Awards. With your vote, you’re not just endorsing a podcast, but expressing your gratitude for the moments of joy and insights it has brought to your life.

Listen, watch and subscribe wherever you love your podcasts

More Humourology highlights


John Sweeney – Letting Laughter in when Life gets Dark

John Sweeney joins Paul Boross to discuss how a sense of humour can bring you through troubled times and letting laughter in when life gets dark. Throughout decades as a war correspondent and investigative journalist, Sweeney shares the saving power of a smile