Listen to Learn

Ever been in a conversation where you felt like the person you were talking to wasn’t listening to a word you said because they were too busy trying to convince you of their opinion? We’ve all been in such situations. It’s a common phenomenon. So much so that there’s likely been times that you’ve left others feeling that way. I’m sure I have.

The reality is that we’re wired to think our view of the world (along with the problems and people in it) is the right one. If only everyone would see (think and act) as you do all would be well, right?! But consider this:

While your perspective may seem completely logical to you, other people think the same about theirs!

There is a lot of information online of successful people being great listeners. People who asked lots of questions and don’t assume they have all the answers. People like Richard Branson who carries a notebook with him everywhere he goes and Bill Marriott who shares why lousy listeners make even lousier leaders.

Here are 4 tips that have helped me:

  1. Maintain eye contact
  2. Let others complete their sentences/views, don’t interrupt!
  3. Offer minimal encouraging prompts
  4. Ask probing questions

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen

Winston Churchill

Given all the turmoil going on in our world right now, there’s never been a better time to start being more deliberate in trying to understand those who see the world differently to you.

Your ears will never get you into trouble and, who knows, you may just learn something that changes everything.

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