Edgar Watson Howe once Joked, “No Man would listen to you talk if he didn’t know it was his turn next.” Unfortunately, this describes the way too many people approach communication – they’re too busy waiting for their turn to really listen to others. but people of influence understand the incredible value of becoming a good listener.
The ability to listen is one key to gaining influence with others. Consider these benefits to listening that we’ve found:
Listening Shows Respect – Whenever you don’t spay attention to what others have to say, you send them the message that you don’t value them. But when you listen to them, you show them that you respect them. A mistake that people often make in communicating is trying very hard to impress the other person. They try to make themselves appear smart, witty, or entertaining. But if you want to relate well to others, you have to be willing to focus on what they have to offer. Be impressed and interested, not impressive and interesting.
Listening Builds Relationships – By becoming a good listener, you are able to connect with others on more levels and developed stronger, deeper relationships. “Everyone needs someone who he feels really listens to him”. When you become that important listener, you help that person. And you take a significant step toward becoming a person of influence in his or her live.
Listening Increases Knowledge – It’s amazing how much you can learn about your friends and family, your job, the organization you work in, and yourself when you decide to really listen to others.
Listening Generates Ideas – Fresh, Innovative ideas help us to find new ways to solve old problems, to generate new products, and processes to keep our organizations growing, and to continue growing and improving personally. “Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.” When you consistently listen to others, you never suffer for ideas. People love to contribute, especially when their leader shares the credit with them. If you give people opportunities to share their thoughts, and you listen with an open mind, there will always be a flow of new ideas.
Listening Builds Loyalty – A funny thing happens when you don’t make a practice of listening to people. They will find others who will. Anytime employees, spouses, colleagues, children or friends no longer believe they are being listened to, they seek out people who will give them what they want. Sometimes the consequences can be disastrous: the end of a friendship, lack of authority at work, lessened parental influence, or the breakdown of a marriage.
Listening attracts people – Practicing good listening skills draws people to you. Everyone loves a good listener and is attracted to him or her. If you consistently listen to others, valuing them and what they have to offer, they are likely to develop a strong loyalty to you, even when your authority with them is unofficial or informal.
Listening Is A Great Way To Help Others And Yourself – At first glance, listening to others may appear to benefit only them. But when you become a good listener, you put yourself in a position to help yourself too. You have the ability to develop strong relationships, gather valuable information and increase your understanding of yourself and others.
Taken in short from Becoming A Person Of Influence, by John C. Maxwell and Jim Dorman