There are many misconconceptions about listening. Generally people overestimate their own listening abilities and underestimate the listening abilities of others. Good listening is not a skill that we are born with, it is not a natural gift. Without practice and training we are unlikely to be particularly effective listeners.

Moreover, there is no link between intelligence and how well we listen.  Although being bright and having a good vocabulary may make it easier to process information and gain understanding, these qualities do not necessarily make clever people better listeners. Very intelligent people may be more likely to get bored with a conversation and ‘tune out’, thinking about other things and therefore not listening.

People with higher emotional intelligence, on the other hand, are more likely to be better listeners. Emotional Intelligence is the measure of a person’s likelihood to consider the emotional needs of others - and that often comes about through good listening.