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  • Taka

Life lesson #3: Listen more, talk less

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Today, I share with you reasons why listening more and talking less will benefit you. I'm talking from personal experience through school (Resident Assistant/Peer Coach/Student Orgs) and work.


There is one common lesson shared by people such as Stephen Schwarzman (CEO of The Blackstone Group), William Campbell (Coached many Google executives, Jeff Bezos, Sheryl Sandberg etc on leadership), and Jack Welch (former CEO of GE):

Be a great listener.

From my personal experience, I believe there are 3 reasons why listening is so important (I'm still working on this valuable soft skill. Its a journey!).

  1. You learn more by listening

  2. Powerful tool for relationship building

  3. When you do speak, people will listen to you

You learn more by listening

What does it mean when you talk less in a two way conversation? It means the other person is talking more. Why is that a good thing? Because the more you listen, you inevitably receive more information and knowledge! Simply showing curiosity and asking engaging questions are a game changer. Active listening goes a long way. I will create a post on active listening in the near future so stay tuned!


Powerful tool for relationship building

From your personal experiences, how do you feel when you realize (through their facial expression, eye contact, body gesture) the person you are talking to is genuinely interested in what you are saying and wants to know more? You feel GREAT and you want to talk more! This is one of the key moments when you form a sense of trust and comfort. You start building up a strong foundation in the relationship. By simply listening, you allow the other person to feel understood.


When you do speak, people will listen to you

When you are a great listener, not only are you learning a tremendous amount, you are also providing great value when you speak. Why? Because every word becomes valuable and people will naturally listen more attentively. Of course this can go the wrong way but generally, active listeners talk less because they are listening, learning, and thinking. When they do speak, they do so because their input will be of value to the conversation.


Am I an amazing listener? Not at all. But I have drastically improved my listening skills over time and will continue to do so by doing 3 things:

  • Making an effort to REALLY get to know the other person

  • Being curious and force myself to ask "why?" to literally every question

  • Being conscious of my talk:listen ratio during conversations

Taka's Tip Top Tips

Next time you have a conversation with someone, see how much talking and listening you do.

Then, apply the following code to yourself!

If Talking >>> Listening:
    Take a deep breath
    Listen more by asking them questions
else:
    Keep up the great work and continue being curious!

Thanks for sticking around! Remember, take baby steps and good things will happen eventually. Be yourself and let's get moving!


Yours sincerely,

Taka

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