If you want to have better communication skills, listen up! In fact, listening is the single most crucial factor of all communication skills. It is more important than stirring oratory, more important than a powerful voice, more important than the ability to speak multiple languages, and more important than a flair for the written word.
Good listening is truly where effective communications and relationships begin. It’s surprising how few people listen well. Those who do are the ones who have learned the SKILL of listening.
The fact is that people love being listened to. It’s true in the business world and at home. Actually, it’s true of just about everyone we meet in life.
Dale Carnegie wrote that the secret to influencing people lies not so much in being a good talker, but rather in being a good listener. Most people who try to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves.
To improve relationships—as well as your effectiveness—encourage the other person to talk by asking questions. Let the person share with you. If you disagree with them, you may be tempted to interrupt. Don’t. You will have your chance to share your ideas.
Listen patiently and with an open mind. Be sincere. Encourage the person to express his or her ideas. Be supportive rather than listening with an agenda. The person will never forget. And you will learn a thing or two.
Tip: If you want better relationships, then focus on your communication skills, specifically the skill of listening. The more you listen, the more you learn, and the more the other person feels valued.
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