“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”- Ernest Hemingway
When someone is talking to you, listen to the person. He or she has something important to share with you. It could be the breakthrough that you have been waiting for. Don’t ignore or pretend to be listening when people are sharing something with you. If you listen, you will learn a lot about yourself and the person talking. If you don’t listen, you are telling the person that you are not interested in what he or she is saying. You know everything. He or she is not relevant to you. You don’t need help. You do.
“No man is an Island; entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.”- John Donne, poet
No man is an Island, according to John Donne. You are part of a team. You are not alone. You can’t succeed on your own; you need people to help you succeed. In order to succeed with people, and to be part of a happy team, you need to develop strong people management skills. Below are some tips that will help you do just that:
Be a happy person. If you want to attract people into your world, you need to be a happy person. Don’t fake it. People want to be around people they like. They want to work with coworkers who are warm, happy, respectful, and enthusiastic. No body want to be around a pessimist. If you want people to be around you, be an optimist.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is within yourself, in your way of thinking.”- Marcus Aurelius
“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”- George Orwell
Be authentic. People trust authentic people. When people trust you, building a positive relationship will be easier for you. But if they don’t trust you, nothing you can do to bring them into your world. Trust is everything. A relationship without trust is a temporary relationship. Everything will collapse. Again, trust is everything. Be real!
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”- Thomas Jefferson
Preparation, preparation, preparation.When you are ready, people are ready. People like to work with people or coworkers who are ALWAYS prepared before coming to work. You cannot be a trusted team member when you lack the discipline to prepare before a meeting. People will not depend on you. Preparation is the key to success in life. Without preparation, you are setting yourself up for failure.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”- Benjamin Franklin
“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”- Abraham Lincoln
Be a great listener. To be a great listener, you have to listen with a clear mind. Show that you are interested in what your colleagues are saying. Give them time to finish before you jump into the conversation. Listen to people to learn, not to judge. Great leaders are great listeners. They listen to learn from their employees, customers, and managers, not to judge them. If you want to enjoy your work, be a great listener.
“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.”- Andre Gide, author
When we listen well, we are communicating. It is very important to listen well. If we learn how to listen well, it has the power to change how we view the world. It can change our lives, too.
Why is it so important to listen well?
It determines how well we will communicate with others
When we listen well, we are growing
When we listen well, we are learning from others.
When we listen well, we earn trust and respect from our colleagues.
When we listen well, we attract new friends.
When we listen well, we will attract new business opportunities
When we listen well, we act on facts not assumptions.
Listening well strengthens our relationships.
For students, when you listen well, your performances will be better.
Since listening is part of who we are as human beings, the CRITICAL question is:
Why are people not listening well?
To answer this critical question, according to Dr. M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his amazing book, The Road Less Traveled, He said, “Listening well is an exercise of attention and by necessity hard work. It is because they do not realize this or because they are not willing to do the work that most people do not listen well.”
When you read and digest this quote, you will see why people don’t care to listen to anyone, but themselves. They don’t listen, according to Dr. Scott’s quote, because:
It is an exercise of attention
It is hard to listen well
They underestimate what it takes to listen well
They are not willing to do the hard work involved in listening well
Listen well! If you don’t listen well, you are not communicating, you are not growing, and you are not learning.