5 Ways to Listen Better

TED Talk: Julian Treasure

Updated GOAL Academy


Listening is a skill. According to Julian Treasure in this TED Talk, “We are losing our listening.” Although we spend 60% of our communication time listening, we only retain 25% of what we hear. Employ these 5 simple techniques to listen consciously and live fully.

What You’ll Learn

After completing the work on this page, you will be able to:

  • Define listening
  • Recall various techniques in the mental process of extraction that enable us to listen
  • List reasons why we are losing our listening
  • Comprehend the connection between conscious listening and understanding
  • Apply 5 simple tools to improve your conscious listening

Watch the Video

Dig Deeper

After watching the video, reflect on the following questions. Jot down your thoughts. Consider sharing this video with a colleague or a work group for an insightful discussion.

  1. Julian Treasure presents many reasons why we are losing our listening. Which of these reasons most affect your own ability to listen? Knowing this, how can you tailor your listening skills for the better?
  2. How does conscious listening promote connection, understanding, and peace?
  3. This week, try one of the 5 techniques to improve your conscious listening. Which technique did you try and with whom? What were the results?
  4. Bonus: This month try each of the 5 techniques to improve your conscious listening. Which one had the most profound effect on your listening skills?

Still Hungry?

Here’s more to spark your thinking on this topic:

  • According to Celeste Headlee, we have lost the balance between talking and listening which has resulted in detrimental outcomes. Improve your conversation skills with these 10 rules as outlined in the Ted Talk How to Have a Conversation.
  • Did you know that your linguistic style (speaking pattern) is directly related to how others interpret your meaning and is also how we evaluate each other as people? Find out how this culturally derived trait is so important to communication as explained in the Harvard Business Review article “The Power of Talk: Who Gets Heard and Why” by Deborah Tannen. NOTE: There is a limit of viewing 4 online articles per month at Harvard Business Review without a paid subscription. If you click on the link to this article, it will count toward your limit.
  • Dr. Wendy LeBorgne explains how the physiology and perception of the human voice functions as the single most important aspect of communication in the short TedTalk How Your Voice Shapes Your Communication.

Write a Review

  1. Communication is key in all that we do but how we communicate, the skills involved, need to be refreshed for us all. Listening is a skill, simply put. Creating the connections and understandings is brought about by listening. Here Mr. Treasure gives some simple insight into how you can intently listen with a few exercises. I found this Ted talk helpful in reminding me on how to filter through all the noise in our world.


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