The Art of Listening

People like to talk about themselves. I’m just like everyone else in that aspect, but something I’ve learned is that we need to listen to others. When I say listen, I don’t mean hear the other person. I mean you truly need to understand and care what the other person is saying.The founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert Baden Powell said, “If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.”Most people don’t listen, they’re just waiting to talk. The skill of listening is rooted in caring. It’s a skill because you can practice and train yourself to get better at it. If you don’t care about others, then what they’re saying has no value to you. When I talk to someone, I give them my undivided attention. I expect the same in return. I really dislike it when people are on their phone or aren’t focused on me when we’re talking. It sounds selfish, but I don’t like to waste time. Another thing I do is ask thought provoking and relevant questions. This shows the other person that you care and are paying attention to them and only them. I’m constantly trying to increase my level of engagement with others. The better quality of engagement, the better quality of relationships you will have.I genuinely care about everyone I talk to. All I want to do is help and impact others. People take notice to this. If you do this, your level of influence will increase and people will legitimately care, respect, and want to be around you. I honestly crave the opportunities to help others. I get fulfillment from it and it reinforces me to keep doing it.