“I remind myself every morning…Nothing I say this day will teach me anything, so if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” (Larry King)
That was Jack’s quote today in the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
Have you ever met someone who just can’t stop talking? I have and it’s really annoying after a very short period of time. It’s not even that you can’t get a word in edgewise, it’s that you just get tired of listening to them prattle on.
However, the advice in today’s quote is certainly valid. If you are talking, you are spouting off about things that you already know or opinions that you’ve already reached. Instead, if you listen, you may hear things that you didn’t know or get some insight into a different point of view that may influence or change your decision.
Another piece of advice is not to be a passive listener, but, rather to actively be listening to and analyzing what you are hearing. The minds of most passive listeners aren’t really just idling along; rather, they are usually busy formulating the next thing that the person wants to say.
In addition to the potential for learning, being a good listener is a way to show some respect for the person that you are talking with. It shows that you are paying attention to what they have to say. Admit it, that you an tell if someone is paying attention to what you are saying; so, why would you not think that they can tell the same about you.
Jack mentioned that Larry King used to lean in towards those he was interviewing so that he could listen better to what they were saying and in doing so let them know that he was listening. That’s not a bad habit to adopt either. Body language experts might tell you that taking the opposite approach and leaning back is a show of disrespect and/or indifference for what the person is saying.
Most of us will never be interviewers like Larry King; however, we can apply the lessons that he learned about listening to be better conversationalists or fiends. Others are trying to talk to us, not just at us, and they deserve the courtesy of us listening to them. Who knows, we might even learn something.
Be a good listener today.