Which activity do you think is more difficult – speaking or listening?
While many would answer speaking, listening – and more importantly, listening with intent – is actually far more difficult. Think of it this way: in the last conversation you held, how much of what the other person said do you actually remember? Chances are, you were spending the time he or she spent talking planning what your response would be, and wondering about the notification your phone just gave you, resulting in you walking away from the interaction without having gained very much at all.
Listening to respond and listening to understand are two different things. While both have their uses, when you’re looking to win a place in the heart or mind of another person, it’s the latter that will help you the most.
Dale Carnegie believed that many people failed to make a favorable impression because they failed to listen attentively. His beliefs were corroborated by many conversations he would hold throughout his life.
“Very important people have told me that they prefer good listeners to good talkers, but the ability to listen seems rarer than almost any other good trait.”
How then, does one learn to become a conscientious listener?
Start with the tips below, and before long you’ll become known as an excellent conversationalist.