January 23 ~  Learn To Listen Zen of Listening

"Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly." ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "Most people never listen."

Oh well... Let's change that today! Listening is good.

Listening is the key to successful leadership and communication, crucial for positive relationships. More than just a passive skill, an active listener who really desires to hear what is being said can help lead the conversation.

Listen to others. People yearn to be heard and understood. It's the best thing you can do for them... and for yourself.

"Listening is love in action." observed writer Leo Buscaglia.

Listen, really listen, to what a person is saying. Concentrate on the speaker. Validate another person's worth by making eye contact. Show your interest. Ask questions to find out more and encourage dialogue.

Open your ears... your mind... your heart. There's so much to learn!

In his landmark book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie wrote, "To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other people will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments."

"Every person I work with knows something better than me," explained artist Jack Nichols. "My job is to listen long enough to find it and use it."

Remember the 2-to-1 rule-- listen twice as much as you talk. As philosopher Epictetus observed, "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."