Five Ways to Improve Your Listening

Listening is an important aspect of learning for most students, yet it’s a skill that is rarely taught in school. Julian Treasure, author of  Sound Business, offers five techniques that you can use to improve your ability to listen in the following TED video:


Here’s a brief overview of the techniques Treasure recommends:

  1. Silence
    “Just three minutes a day of silence is a wonderful exercise to reset your ears, and to recalibrate, so that you can hear the quiet again.If you can’t get absolute silence, go for quiet; that’s absolutely fine.”
  2. The Mixer
    “Listen in a coffee bar, or in a natural setting, and try to determine how many channels you can hear. How many individual conversations, how many background noises, how many birds singing, etc.”
  3. The Savoring
    Enjoy mundane sounds: the dryer, the coffee maker, etc.
  4. Listening Positions
    Change your listening position to enhance your receptivity to what you’re hearing.
  5. RASA
    (The word “rasa” comesfrom the Sanskrit word meaning juice, or essence. Here, it is used as an acronym for an approach to listening that can improve communication.)
    R – Receive
    A – Appreciate
    S – Summarize
    A – Ask

For a more detailed overview of these techniques, see Treasure’s post on Teaching Listening in Schools.


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