The Art of Compassionate Listening


Compassionate listening is a subtle art, and it comes from inner stillness. This requires being fully present to embrace all forms of communication, although it may not always be expressed in words; especially when they are in contradiction of other non-verbal communication.

With complete understanding and acceptance of another’s perspective one can refrain from judgment and be a compassionate listener.

This can be done by training one’s mind to think in a particular manner. A transformation of attitude is required for effective compassionate listening; not the neediness to reply or exchange words that would confuse or anger another. Remind yourself: I will interrupt no one. I will never impose myself on anyone against their will.

“Do not listen for the purpose of judging, criticizing, or analyzing. Listen only to help the other person express himself and find some relief from his suffering.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

Here are some other ways to master the art of compassionate listening:

Find authenticity in your listening. When one is asked to help another who is suffering, it is not only because he or she is searching for healing, but to be entrusted with authenticity in their speech. Trust is crucial and others are comforted in know that the person who is actively listening is not an illusion, but someone who can truly be relied upon.

Listen with compassion. The circumstances surrounding life’s experiences are no more or less significant than any other, so it is important to take time to understand the viewpoints of others and listen empathetically with a loving heart. Compassion brings joy to all involved and opens the path for oneness.

Give. Richard Moss wrote, “The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” When one offers themselves in a way that impacts the lives of others, it will be rewarded with endless gratitude. The very act of giving oneself to another can only bring joy to a broken heart.

Be a student. In life there is always something to learn when one is present and listens intently. Curiosity helps one deepen and broaden life’s perspectives, therefore helping to better understand the sorrow of one another.

It is important to be mindful of how others respond and react when one listens, and it is just as much a listener’s responsibility to be at peace and be joyful as the one who is suffering.

Any thoughts?

So, have you found ways to improve your listening skills? Have you found yourself more compassionate with others? Leave a comment below and share your insights.


About Michelle Cruz Rosado

Michelle Cruz Rosado is a professional speaker and bestselling co-author of "Pursuing Your Destiny: How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Dreams." Follow Michelle for inspiring messages and quotes.