People Skills

Practice Good Listening

Tips to Improve People Skills

The Japanese have a simple but insightful proverb that’s worth posting somewhere near your desk. It goes like this: “Those who talk, sow; those who listen, reap.”

The most important element of good listening is simple: You have to want understand the other person’s point of view. Listening is not about gathering, or defending. It’s not about how often you nod your head in the conversation, how many time you recap what the person said, or how many affirmations you give to the other person. Those are technique to help you become a better listener, but they are not listening in themselves.

The fundamental purpose of listening is to gather information about the other person, to understand where he’s coming from, how she views a situation, or what he values. If you sit quietly and let others do the talking, you can have an excellent opportunity to learn, to gather information. And that can be very powerful – in several ways.

Most importantly, people are attracted to good listeners. Why ? Because we all want to be heard – it’s a common human desire. Good listeners give people that opportunity. And secondly, listening allows you to learn people like’s likes, dislikes, ceoncerns, joys, and so on. By knowing more about people, you become much more effective in working with them.

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