Listening is one of the most important things we can do as leaders and people. Our ears can do a lot more for us than our mouths can, and they are much less likely to get us in trouble too. When we take the time to listen to what someone else is saying, really listen to what they’re saying, it does some really good things for us.
First, people like us more. People like to have their opinions heard and when you take the time to actually listen to what they’re saying you become like a hero in their eyes. So many people are so busy looking at their phones or rushing off to do something that they don’t take the time to really listen to what people are saying around them. Which results in a lot of shallow relationships that can be easily broken or forgotten.
Second, we learn lots of things. Yes, sometimes we learn things we wish we didn’t know, but all too often we could learn something really important to our success, the success of our business, the happiness of our employees and customers, or even things that could dramatically change the future of our personal relationships for the better. Sometimes all it takes is one little thing to reveal the big flaw, the easy fix or the answer you’ve been looking for for a really long time.
Third, we feel good about making the effort. We don’t feel so good if all we let people do is dump on us, but when we take the time to listen and care about people who are not just complaining but sharing their lives and their hopes and dreams, it does something magical to us: it can reignite our hope in the future of the human race.
So this week, do take time to share your opinion and ideas with someone else, and make sure you take twice that amount of time to listen to what someone else has to say.
“No man ever listened himself out of a job.” Calvin Coolidge