Listen and Be Heard

Started by the International Listening Association (ILA), International Listening Awareness Month is celebrated each March. This global celebration helps the ILA in promoting the critical role listening plays in all human activity. ILA’s membership represents 16 countries, including Canada, Japan, Finland, Germany, and the U.S., among others. The theme for this year’s conference is Listening for Healing. I’m sure we can all remember how good it felt to have someone listen – really listen – to our joys or concerns. But sometimes it is hard to listen because we don’t like what we are hearing, the person is disagreeing with our own conclusions, the speaker is not someone we expect to be able to tell us anything – a problem women face all the time, as do those of other races, or the young or the old. And as Stephen Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

Today, March 7 is also  National Be Heard Day. Though it can be taken to mean that we wish others would listen to us, its primary purpose is to give small businesses a voice. The Website Days of the Year describes it like this: “The task of getting the message of a small business through all the noise of bigger companies and their marketing machines could be described as herculean. Local and small businesses are sometimes not even noticed by those who live near them because of this. Marketing and Business Strategist Shannon Cherry saw this problem and … created Be Heard Day”

So you have two assignments today. First, when someone speaks to you, really listen to them, even if it is someone with quite different ways and/or views. Second, seek out a small business in your area and give them some love.

Quotes about listening.

Be a good listener; Your ears will never get you in trouble.–Frank Tyger

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.–Sue Patton Thoele

Effective listening requires more than hearing the words transmitted. It demands that you find meaning and understanding in what is being said. After all, meanings are not in the words, but in the people.-–Herb Cohen

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while, he knows something.–Wilson Mizner

A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with.–Kenneth A. Wells

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.–Henry David Thoreau

I’m glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.–Nikki Giovanni

It is much harder to criticize or to be angry with someone who wants to listen to you rather than lecture you or get angry in turn.–Frank Pavone

It’s a mistake to think we listen only with our ears. It’s much more important to listen with the mind, the eyes, the body, and the heart. Unless you truly want to understand the other person, you’ll never be able to listen.–Mark Herndon

Respect comes from understanding each other’s stories. But we shout over each other and forget to listen. If we listened, we would find that what the other person was saying is an echo of what we are saying ourselves.–Muhtar Bakare

We hear one another into being.–Nelle Morton

With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing.–Catherine de Hueck Doherty

Find nearly 9500 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at Also visit us on Facebook at and on Twitter: (@kloberst)


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