Be a Better Listener (Part 1)

Why do we admire celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Bill Clinton?

They make you feel like you’re the most important person in the room.

They excel at listening – a skill that separates great personalities from the near-great.

When you meet Clinton for the first time, he says something positive to acknowledge you. His listening skills are laser-focused on the person he’s with. We spend 80 percent of our waking time on four communications tasks:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Speaking
  4. Listening

While listening accounts for 50 percent of our communications, we pay little attention to this important process and tend to take it for granted. We erroneously assume that listening is a passive activity and that everyone knows how to listen.
In fact, most of us find it hard to maintain the prolonged concentration required for truly effective listening. To be a good listener, you need to adopt proactive habits. 

Come back tomorrow for Part 2: Listening but Not Hearing.

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