Written by Jim Knight.

Is listening the most important communication strategy for coaches? Maybe. Listening certainly is essential for effective coaching, but it is also essential for almost any meaningful communication. And, when we asked people from nine countries around the world to video record and watch their conversations, listening was the one strategy they identified that they most needed to improve. In today’s video, I talk about listening, why it is important, and I share one simple strategy that will help anyone become a better listener.

You can download free forms to help you improve as a listener (and improve at demonstrating empathy) here:



    Hi. Jim. Totally agreed, that listening is one of the important elements in conversation. It enhances teacher belief and trust to coach.

  2. Pascale Lim-Monot

    I also think that we don’t always have to respond after listening to someone. Responses, especially longer more elaborate ones, signify to the teacher that the listener spent quite a bit of time crafting their response instead of fully listening. Paraphrasing might be a better “response”.

  3. Marty W Conrad

    Wow!! The private voice – The public voice. I am hearing this among my teachers and keeping these voices in a confidentially way by just listening and providing feedback. It’s more now during this covid-19 situation with some teachers wanting to leave the teaching profession and some principals. “Listen to understand….then to be understood” .

    • Carina Oghoorian

      Is that Marty Conrad from SFSU? If yes, I owe you a thank you. I was in the Language & Literacy Program back in 2004-2006 and your class had such an important impact on me, my career, and my trajectory. I am now an instructional coach. Hope you’re well and would love to connect.


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