Exploring the Three Levels of Hearing: An Insider’s Guide

Exploring the Three Levels of Hearing: An Insider’s Guide


Communication has been an essential aspect of human life since our existence. We use this skill every day to convey information, express emotions, and build relationships. Despite our familiarity with communication, not everyone is skilled at fully hearing what others are saying. Communication involves both verbal and non-verbal elements, and Kyle Cease, a renowned communication coach, believes that there are three levels of hearing. In this article, we will explore these levels of hearing and their implications.

Level One: Creating an Interpretation of What Someone is Saying

At level one, we impose our interpretation upon the words of the speaker. We do not listen to the words presented to us, but instead, we interpret them based on our biases, assumptions, beliefs, and experiences. This level of hearing often leads to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and conflicts.

Level Two: Hearing Words Exactly as They are said and Having Conversations to Clarify Meaning

At level two, we avoid creating interpretations and instead listen to the words exactly as they are spoken. This level involves active listening, where we engage with the speaker and ask questions to clarify any misinterpretations. At level two, we may hear the space in between the words.

Level Three: Hearing the Space and Realizing There is Information Within it

At level three, we are deeply attuned to the speaker’s words, pauses, sighs, tone, and patterns. We listen not only to the words but also to the potential meaning they may have beyond their literal sense. Level three hearing involves sensing the unsaid words and emotions behind every word spoken. At this level, we hear the space between the words and understand that it can be profound.

Mastery of Communication Involves Listening Deeply and Interpreting Both Words and Space

Mastery of communication requires listening to all three levels and interpreting both words and space. When we understand the variations in meaning, we can have more meaningful conversations and develop better relationships. Truly hearing what people mean facilitates mutual understanding, compassion, and empathy.

Implications of the Three Levels of Hearing

The implications of mastering the three levels of hearing are profound. It allows us to interpret underlying meanings that lead to a more comprehensive understanding of others and ourselves. When we listen at level three, we can sense the truth behind what people say, even if they do not speak it.

Following are the implications of the three levels of hearing:

1. Enhances Meaningful Conversations

People want to be heard and understood, and if we listen fully, we can guarantee that we have listened to them. Miscommunications can occur because each person interprets the speaker’s words differently. Mastering the three levels of hearing enhances the possibility of meaningful conversations and makes them more productive.

2. Fosters Empathy

The more we listen to others and seek to understand them, the more we develop empathy towards them. When we understand the situation and emotions, we can better put ourselves in their shoes and understand their point of view.

3. Aids in Decision Making

Hearing beyond level one allows for more informed decision-making. It enables us to understand the root causes of a problem, evaluate all potential solutions while taking into account the emotions of everyone involved.

4. Avoids Misunderstandings and Conflicts

Misunderstandings and conflicts arise because of poor communication. Level three hearing allows us to avoid them by understanding hidden emotions that can cause conflicts. Understanding levels is a significant breakthrough in improving communication.


In conclusion, communication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction, and hearing is the essential component of it. Understanding the varying levels of hearing allows us to have more meaningful conversations, fosters empathy, aids in decision-making, and avoids misunderstandings and conflicts. The three levels of hearing presented by Kyle Cease provide a firm foundation for anyone to improve their communication skills. Listening deeply and interpreting both words and space can undoubtedly be a game-changer in relationships and everyday life.

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