Good Listener- Are You? How to be a good listener in SSB Interview?

“When you speak, you are only repeating what you already know. But when you listen, you can learn something new”

The above quote clearly states the importance of listening. You can not communicate well if you are not a good listener. An Officer has to listen to every single message carefully in order to take action. Just think of what can happen if he misinterprets the message and make a wrong action? In the circumstances of an Officer, we can’t imagine the magnitude of the problem which can arise due to not listening carefully.

In SSB also, you can miss out on important instructions if you do not listen. So listening is of crucial importance in SSB. It is our mind that wanders off to distant things when the subject of speech doesn’t interest us but the reason is not enough to get lost in your own line of thoughts.

Here are some tips to become a good listener:-
  1. If you do not listen to them, why do you think they will spare their time to listen to you? I guess, the reason is important enough to pay attention if you expect it for yourself.
  2. Pay attention to the speaker and what is coming out of his/ her mouth. It is difficult, but try not to get distracted.
  3. Look into the eyes of the speaker and get involved in what he is saying. It will also keep you from wandering off.
  4. Focus on the content and the purpose of speech. Try to get involved in the subject matter.
  5. Think that you have to repeat the conversation later on to someone. It will work as a stimulant to listen carefully.
  6. If your mind wanders off too much there may be a reason like if you are worried about something. If yes, there is a problem, solve it. Try to avoid distraction as much as you can.
  7. Do not get emotionally involved in any subject because it will make you biased.
  8. Just because you know what is going to be said next, do not get distracted or interrupt the speaker. It is rude. Let him finish and then you can clear your doubts or ask questions or make any suggestions.
  9. Repeat what the speaker said. It will make the speaker know that yes you are actually listening and understanding it in the same context.
  10. Ask occasional questions if you have any doubts to clear that you understand it correctly.
Some other tips you can use:-
  1. We think much faster than speaking. The same thing applies here. The speaker will not be as fast as your thinking and this may get you distracted. Practice can help overcome this.
  2. You can show it with your body language that you are listening to him. You can give occasional nods, thumbs up on a good point made, a smile or a laugh, anything which will help the speaker to know he is good and will boost his confidence.
  3. Try to understand the key points the speaker is trying to make. You may skip the important part due to distraction.
  4. Do not play with your sleeves, fingers or yawn while listening. Never cross your arms as it shows that you are reluctant to communicate.


The word is so simple and we do not think that we have any problem with listening, but most people have without even knowing it. Hearing and listening are two different things. Think what kind of audience do you want while speaking? Try to listen to the same way you want them to when you speak. If you listen to them carefully then only they will listen to you. Hope the above points will help you to become good listener. Good Luck!

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