Two months ago after several hours of flying, I arrived at my destination a bit exhausted. A nice-looking, professional, and proactive driver was sent to pick me up and take me to my hotel. As the manager of the hotel checked me in, we started a conversation. I was pleasantly surprised by the uncommon way he gave me his undivided attention. This attitude caught my attention.

Some minutes later, I drew his attention by saying, “I really appreciate your excellent customer service and your precious gift of listening to me with kindness.” His response was, “We have been trained from the CEO to the driver in this hotel to be prompt, to listen with kindness, slow to speak, and slow to get angry and this is what distinguishes us from other hotels”.

In this article, we will talk about some benefits of listening with kindness.

Listening with kindness is defined as “the practice of giving your full attention with the full intent to understand another while engaging with the conversation in meaningful ways. It involves putting your ego aside, withholding judgment, and directing your full attention to the things the speaker is saying.” (Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project)

  • Benefit 1: Listening with kindness shows how Self-Aware you are.

Listening to others is an acid test of your self-awareness. Self-awareness is being aware of your strengths and your areas of improvement. It describes the feelings and emotions you are experiencing in you at a particular moment. It plays a great role in your becoming emotionally intelligent. For example, knowing that you have something important to share when someone else is talking and withholding a strong urge to cut requires courage and discipline. Good listeners are people who are self-aware and are emotionally intelligent.

  • Benefit 2: Listening with kindness reveals your Awareness of Others

Listening with kindness creates in us an awareness of others, which is also another key competence in Emotional Intelligence. It creates a great feeling of being valued and appreciated by the person you are listening to. Once people feel valued and connected, a bond is formed and some level of trust is developed. Listening to others is not an automatic skill. It is a choice we make and it should be intentional. Empathetic listening led Philip Stanhope to say, “Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request”. According to Stephen Covey, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

  • Benefit 3: Listening with kindness brings the best out of people

Maya Angelou, an amazing woman once remarked, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” As a coach, you get the best out of your clients by being present, listening attentively, and asking the right questions. Listening opens people up to innovative and creative ways of solving problems. It is recorded that Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan were masters at showing empathy and offering this gift of listening with kindness to others. This may have contributed to bringing the best out of their teams.


Judi Brownell (2010), the author of Listening: Attitudes, Principles, and Skills, proposes the HURIER model as a description of the listening process.  The HURIER acronym stands for:

H = Hearing
U = Understanding
R = Remembering
I = Interpreting
E = Evaluating
R = Responding

Here is my golden question for you – on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 means very low and 10 means very high), how would you rate yourself in the area of listening to others with kindness?

Patrick Abah-Dakou

Unlock Extraordinary Leadership: Elevate Your Skills with Our Transformative Programmes! Discover the Power of Leadership at Its Best: Explore Now –

Missed out on our CEO, Dave Boreham’s recent podcast, no stress. Listen to a replay at