I’d like to give you a task. Next time you are talking with someone, or even a group of people, focus on listening more. If you are already a great listener, congratulations. If not, this will likely be very difficult. I’m often guilty of talking A LOT more than I listen. Listening can be a superpower if you can figure out how to use it correctly.
Active listening can be an amazing trait. If both people in the conversation are focused on actively listening to one another, neither person is trying to think about what to say next. By doing this, you are genuinely “in the conversation.” I would imagine a lot of people have never experienced this. We are always trying to so hard to think about what to say next that we actually miss what the person said, again, guilty party writing this. I used to get irritated with people that would take a while to respond, now I realize how much I like it. It shows they are actually listening and taking the time to think about how they’d like to respond by chewing on your words for a moment. They have given you the time of day!
Even if you disagree with what someone is saying, it’s healthy to hear the debate. Many people only care about their side instead of potentially learning something. Even if you deeply believe someone is not right, you can often learn something from them.
Let’s take a paragraph to talk about listening to mentors. Experienced people that are willing to give you the time of day can be so key. Sometimes us millennials might think we know it all and the “old” people can’t help us because the world is different now. I hate to say it but the problems that we deal with today are recycled problems from the past. They may look slightly different but the solutions often match up. Take a moment and listen to the “old” people, they may have some great wisdom for you and they can save you a lot of time and money. I will definitely write more on mentors in the future.
Let’s be okay with pauses, it means we are listening to each other.
I encourage everyone to get into reading, it can be life changing. Here is a small reading list of some that I’ve enjoyed to get you started: https://www.promotionsguy.com/ryan-s-favorite-reads
I’m writing tips each week for people aspiring to improve. These are not industry related but they generally have something to do with growing as a person or growing a business. My intention is to help others grow while growing myself. My book recommendation this week is “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss something, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.