We Need a Whole Lot of Better Listeners
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” ~ Dale Carnegie
It sure would be amusing if we heard people speaking their minds when they tire of someone talking too much. Can you imagine the painful, humorous candor if people were simply blunt and said, “I don’t think you’re that interesting to talk to,” or “I can’t stand listening to your bragging anymore.”
Maybe we would get people to be more considerate and have healthy conversations that go back and forth like a smooth air bearing on rails.
I do think there is immense fatigue from being talked at inconsiderately from advertising, social media and people that lack listening skills. The great thing is that we have more power and choice to shut out the noise.
I like learning new things, and a lot of learning happens by simply asking good questions and genuinely listening and being interested in someone else’s story.
Have you worked hard at becoming a better listener? I mean with rigor, intentionality and passion?
If you took Dale Carnegie’s observation to heart, he’s stating a truism. You get more friends by becoming interested in other people. It’s a habit. And I think it means paying attention and caring about something beyond your own agenda by:
- Learning to completely focus in the moment on someone else
- Being a continuous learner. Remember everyone can teach you something. “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Growing a heart that cares about others and their problems
Imagine if you stand out because you simply are a better listener than most people. Why wouldn’t people want to spend time with you and lean in on friendships? It’s a natural response because you are trading value. Someone feels heard. It validates their thoughts and identity.
Every day, I think there is something I can learn and there are people that can teach me. The skill of listening is an age-old virtue. But, it’s becoming more valuable simply because so few people listen well or even care to.
It’s not fancy technology. It’s part of being human and connecting that makes a difference to get influence and results in life. All we have is time and connection. And you can choose to harness this wonderful habit to make the time we have with others worthwhile.