Resources – Shirley’s Articles For Reprint

How to Become A Better Listener
5 Cues To Understanding What Others Really Mean

When you are having a conversation, do you spend more time thinking about how to express yourself well – or how to listen well?

If you’re like most people, you don’t pay much attention to how you listen. Most of us just listen to get the gist of what the other person is saying or asking, and consequently, we don’t get the benefits from doing it well.

How Can Listening Make You More Successful?

If you devote yourself to really hearing, your career will benefit in two important ways:

  1. You’ll broaden your perspective and deepen your understanding of the world. With this wisdom, you’ll solve problems more effectively and make better decisions.
  2. You’ll be more likely to hear and mirror the other person’s language, sentiments and point of view. This will make them feel valued and understood. As a result, you’ll build the trust, respect and affection of those around you.

5 Cues To Understanding What Others Really Mean

It seems so simple. But really listening means devoting yourself to the subtle cues people use when they talk. It will help you to gain a deeper understanding of your counterpart if you listen for these 5 cues:

  1. Pauses: What caused them to pause? If they’ve stopped to think before or after saying something, what’s going through their mind?
  2. Emphasis: What do they place importance on? What words or ideas do they especially want you to hear?
  3. Mood: Is their mood in synch with their words? It may not be. They may say ‘Congratulations!’ while their tone reveals resentment.
  4. Rhythm: Do they suddenly change the pace of what they’re saying? You may notice they speed up or start stumbling when talking about something in particular.
  5. Breath: Our breathing is deeply connected to our emotions. Holding our breath, shallow breathing, sighing, and other irregularities are signals that something is of importance.

Listening for these subtle cues takes focus and energy. The next time someone is talking to you, try to avoid judgement and preparing your reply. Instead, see what it feels like to devote yourself entirely to simply listening and noticing. You should soon start feeling the benefits.

Article written by Marianna Pascal

All articles are copyright © Shirley Taylor. All rights reserved. This information may not be distributed, sold, publicly presented, or used in any other manner, except as described here.

Permission to reprint all or part of any article in your magazine, e-zine, website, blog or organisation newsletter is granted, as long as:

  1. The entire credit line below is included*.
  2. The website link to is clickable (live)**.
  3. You send a copy, PDF, or link of the work in which the article is used when published.

This credit line must be reprinted in its entirety to use any articles by Shirley Taylor:

* Credit line:
© Shirley Taylor.
Shirley is a high-energy, high-content speaker who is passionate about motivating individuals to make a real difference in our automated world. With inspiring stories and a fun style, she engages audiences quickly, and encourages them to embrace high-touch as well as high-tech so they can connect with heart.

Shirley has been a trusted member of the professional speaking and training community for many years, and has received several awards for her services in leadership. She served as Asia Professional Speakers Singapore President 2011-12 and as Global Speakers Federation President 2017-18. She has spoken in almost 20 countries all over the world.

Author of 12 books published by international publishers, Shirley has established herself as a leading authority in workplace communication, business writing, and email. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition has sold over half a million copies worldwide and been translated into 17 languages.

If you would like Shirley to speak at your next event, visit

** The website link to must be clickable to receive permission to reprint the article.