When you think of a great executive or someone you respect, what qualities come to mind?
Ability to get things done? Knowledge of their space? Who they know? Schmoozability at parties?
What do you think is their most powerful ability to be successful?
The ability to LISTEN.
Listening is SOOO underrated. Most people don't even know it's happening — they are so engrossed in their professional soap opera. Why is it so important?
- It allows you to listen to what is important and what isn't important - then you can comment. Not the other way around.
- It makes the person you talk to feel more engaged, more important, more focused.
- In addition, you look more engaged, more important, and more focused. If you talk too much, you are a know-it-all blowhard.
Our natural inclination is to talk, interrupt, and think about what we are going to say while the other person is talking. By listening, you turn the tables on basic business conversation — you seem more thoughtful, more introspective, and more calculating (in a good way) when interacting with others.
Try it — you might find that people treat you differently and you have the ability to truly understand situations before you dive in head first.