Edgar Watson Howe once joked, “No man would listen to you talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next.” Unfortunately, that accurately describes the way too many people approach communication – they’re too busy waiting for their turn to really listen to others. But people of influence understand the incredible value of becoming a good listener. For example, when Lyndon B. Johnson was a junior senator from Texas, he kept a sign on his office wall that read: “You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when you’re doing all the talkin’.” And Woodrow Wilson, the 28th American president, once said, “The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.”
The ability to skillfully listen is one key to gaining influence with others. Consider these benefits to listening that we’ve found:
Listening shows respect
Listening builds relationship
Listening increases knowledge
Listening generates ideas
Listening builds loyalty
Roger G. Imhoff urged, “Let others confide in you. It may not help you, but it surely will help them.” At first glance, listening to others may appear to benefit only them. But when you become a good listener, you put yourself in position to help yourself too. You have the ability to develop strong relationships, gather valuable information, and increase your understanding of yourself and others.
Focus on Listening to Others Today
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.