I remember hearing someone at a party described as a brilliant conversationalist. I was surprised at the comment, because it had just occurred to me that I had hardly heard the man say a word all night.
I think what the observer had witnessed was good listening skills. When the man did speak, he fed back what the other person had said. That must have made him sound very wise.
Listening really is a very important skill. How well you listen can have a major impact on your job and your relationships with others.
An early mentor of mine told me to learn to “Listen with a third ear.” It took me a long time to figure out what that meant – listening between the lines; listening to body language as well as words.
When you are truly listening, you are NOT thinking about what you will say next. You are concentrating on the other person and committed to hearing all the nuances of their language.
By becoming a better listener, we improve our productivity and increase our ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. We also avoid the conflict and misunderstandings that may result when you THINK you heard but really didn’t.
Take time to practice good listening skills. It’s a personal improvement that gives rich returns.
And – thanks for listening.