Yes, that’s what I said, I said NOT to listen! I suppose you think it’s kind of odd that I would say don’t listen, especially considering how many times I have blogged or tweeted about the importance of listening.
The most successful people listen well. The most successful salespeople are some of the best listeners you’ll ever find. When you listen you learn. You can learn more in a minute of listening then you can learn in a lifetime of talking.
The ability to build strong relationships with another is directly related to your ability to listen. So many people just want someone to listen to them. If you’re that someone who is willing and able to listen then you could make yourself a new friend in a big hurry.
I have a friend who was flying from Minneapolis to Miami and before his flight even took off his seat-mate had struck up a conversation and they talked all the way to Miami. Well, “they” didn’t really talk, his seat-mate actually did 95% of the talking while my friend simply listened, talking only enough to answer questions and keep the “conversation” going.
At the end of the flight my friend’s seat-mate noted how enjoyable the trip had been and commented on what a wonderful conversationalist my friend was. I always knew my friend, Mark, was a great listener and that flight proved it.
People who listen well use all their senses to listen; they listen with their eyes, with their heart, with their experience, and of course they listen to understand not just to respond.
People who listen well focus on what the other person is saying and they linger on their words, not responding until they are certain what was said. Most of us are frankly afraid that if we hesitate too long to respond we will look dumb so we often respond too soon and prove that we are.
Always listen well and you’ll succeed….. or will you? I’ve already said I’m a huge proponent of listening well but now I need to qualify that a bit by adding this:
Be careful what AND who, you listen too. There will be people in your life that tell you that you can’t succeed. Some of them will just be making a “throw-away” comment, having nothing to base their comment on. Sadly, some will simply be hoping you fail because they failed before you and really sadly, some of them do not have your best interest in mind. DON’T listen to any of it. DON’T listen to people who say you cannot succeed and for heavens sake, never say that to yourself.
Don’t listen to negative people, their negativity IS contagious, you may think they can’t affect you but if you listen to enough of their garbage you will be affected. Just do yourself a huge favor and stay away from them. Hanging around people of limited success is the fastest way to limit your own success!
So, listen up but be careful what and who you listen to. It’s great to be a good listener but only if what you listened to is equally great!
Are you listening?