Listening...truly listening is one of the most important skills to fine tune in order to be successful in every aspect of life. So many of us hear, but we don't listen. There is a big difference. Think back about the last debate you had. We're you trying to formulate your rebuttal, or a point you wanted to state even before the other individual was finished making his or her point? So many of us do this and we miss so many important aspects of a conversation.
I have made it a daily promise to myself to work on developing my listening skills, because being in marketing I realize the importance of true listening. More and more I hear people say, "that's really observant," or "wow, I hadn't thought of that." So many times it is because the individual has tunnel vision (or the equivalent of ear muffs on) because when you are passionate about something, it's very hard to hear what you are truly saying and not what you want to hear internally. It takes an independent party, who is truly listening, to help uncover different perspectives. And the best part of this, is when I speak with a powerful listener, I often uncover new ways of seeing a situation because of their distance from my internal decision(s). But in order to recognize this, you must learn to listen yourself, otherwise you'll miss golden opportunities from details provided to help make a sale, make a connection, or even insights for a better path to successful results.
Watch this Ted Talk on the power of listening to get a better understanding of it's true power. It will go a long way in how others perceive you, what you get out of a conversation, and most important, the insights you will formulate making you seem like a very intelligent person.