ListeningMar 23, 2010
Listening could be the most important habit to cultivate. We’ve all heard about Pareto’s law and the 80/20 rule. Maybe that’s a bit extreme to think you should listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time, but it’s not a bad aspiration. If you fall short and you listen 60% and talk 40%, you’re still ahead of the game. It doesn’t matter what it is; at work, with a customer, with your family or with your friends. Focus on the listening aspect first and I guarantee your conversations will have much more meaning. Let’s face it, we all love to talk and most of us love to talk about themselves or something we’re passionate about. Let it happen. Ask a lot of questions, especially open-ended, and really listen. This isn’t easy. If you focus on this during conversations today you will see that when someone is talking you’re thinking about what you want to say next and you’re waiting for a gap in the conversation to jump in. It’s not easy to change this but the more you pay attention to it, the better you will be able to control it. As the saying goes, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
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