It’s no secret that 99% of the people today absolutely suck at listening.
Nobody seems to hear anything that the people around them are saying. It’s as if the 21st century has given us all ear plugs and told us that we should not care about anything that comes out of other people’s mouths. If they are talking, chances are it has no value to you so why should you listen?
Well, that’s exactly the type of thinking that will hold you back in so many ways and keep you from success.
Something that has been kept a secret for the most part is the idea that “Listening is the key to success long-term”.
Many people have such a hard time understanding this concept because they don’t think that listening to another person speak can provide them any value in any way. This could not be farther from the truth.
You can actually learn something of value from everyone you talk to. Sometimes it is difficult to see the initial value in paying close attention during a conversation, but trust me, you will come out of every conversation a smarter, wiser person if you actually pay attention and take in what the other person is saying.
Obviously, it is easy to understand why you should listen closely to certain people. Your professor, or mentor, your spouse, or perhaps your bank teller when she is telling you about the new policy concerning your money. These are times that all people can say “That is an important time to listen”.
But the majority of interactions, whether it’s a speaker talking to a group, or a one-on-one conversation, are not held with nearly as much value by today’s individuals as they should be.
I am an advocate of intent listening. I recently have made a commitment to drastically improve my listening skills by making an effort to pay close attention to everything everyone has to say. Whether it is one of my greatest mentors, a close friend who is having relationship problems, or the lady making my sandwich at Subway, I want to become an effective, great listener.
Here are 6 reasons listening is valuable and can bring you drastic success in your life:
1. Listening Builds Relationships
Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in 2 weeks by becoming a good listener than you can in 2 years trying to get other people interested in you”.
When you listen to people, and really try to understand them and show that you care, you are building strong connection. You are meeting a need, and making them feel important. They will cherish you and give you much in return.
2. Listening Shows Respect
By not listening to people, you are sending them a strong message that you do care about or value what they have to say. People often times try too hard to earn respect by being impressive and interesting. Instead, try being impressed and interested by the other person.
They will instantly like you, and often times mirror your respect.
3. Listening Increases Knowledge
This is a no brainer.
If you don’t listen, you cannot learn. By developing good listening skills, you will consistently be taking in new things and learning new and interesting stuff. No matter who is speaking to you, chances are they are telling you something you don’t already know about.
Whether it’s gossip about something in your social circle, or an entrepreneurs secret to becoming a millionaire, chances are, they are saying at least one thing that will want to hear and take into account. Don’t miss it by being a poor listener!
Listening makes you smarter and wiser.
4. Listening Generates Ideas
This is by far my favorite reason for being a good listener.
As an entrepreneur, I am constantly thinking of new ideas, and looking for inspiration all around me. Inspiration comes in all forms, but the best way to generate fresh, breakthrough ideas is to always be on the lookout and always be ready for them.
Listen to what everyone has to say, and you never know what line, phrase, or story is going to spark your next big idea.
5. Listening Builds Loyalty
Similar to the relationship concept, listening is going to build trust and loyalty. It will make people fall in love with you as a person because you care.
If you show them that you genuinely care by listening to their desires and problems, they will always be around and will never want to leave you. You make them feel special, and people love to feel special.
The funny thing is, if you don’t listen to someone and show them you care, they will find someone else who will, and you just blew a possible great relationship.
6. Listening Is A Great Way To Help Others and Yourself
At first glance, listening may appear to only help the other person. But when you listen and let other confide in you, they will often times return the favor. Also, you have the opportunity to build strong relationships, gather valuable information, and increase your understanding of certain types of people.
If your interested in learning more about understanding people and positively influencing others, check out How to Influence People by John C. Maxwell and Jim Dornan.
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