You may have heard this quote before: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” It’s attributed to the Greek philosopher Epictetus, but it’s as applicable today as it was in the first century. We humans, apparently, have always had the tendency to speak more than we listen. But listening is such a valuable skill in personal relationships and in the workplace! Here are a few tips for becoming a better listener:
Listen more than you talk. You can’t do both at the same time, so choose the former. When you’re tempted to interject or speak over your conversation partner, consider your motive. Are you interested in communicating or pontificating? Why not wait until the other person is finished and wants to hear what you have to say?
Eye contact. It’s important to meet your partner’s eyes. Not only does it communicate that you are interested, it also keeps you focused on what the person is saying....
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