Stop talking. It is listening time. It is time to let go of what you know. It is time to learn from other people. It is time to respect other people. Why is that? Because listening to others is a sign of respect.
When you listen to others, here are some of the things you are saying to them: I hear you. I love you. You are a human being. I respect you. Your problem is my problem. We are in this together. We will get through it together. I want to learn from you. You know what I do not know. You have something important to say. I value you. We can work together. You are the boss, not me. I want to hear your struggles. I want to learn from your successes. I want you to be free to express yourself. I don’t want you to hold anything back. I want you to help me become a better learner, a better listener, a better leader.
If you want to become a better person, you must first learn how to listen.
We learn more when we listen. We miss more when we talk.
According to Amy Cuddy, “When you stop talking, stop preaching, and listen, here’s what happens: People can trust you. … if you do not have people’s trust, you will find it very hard to influence them in a deep and lasting way. You acquire useful information, which makes it more easier to solve any problem you face. You begin to see other people as individuals- and maybe even allies. You no longer see other people as stereotypes. You develop solutions that other people are willing to accept and even adopt. When people contribute to the solutions- when they are co-owners of them- they are more likely to commit to and follow through with them. When people feel heard, they are more willing to listen. … If people don’t feel that you ‘get’ them, they are not inclined to invest their time and energy in activities- such as listening- that will help them to understand you.”
Just listen. Stop preaching. If you want others to hear you, you must first hear them.
Cuddy, A., Presence: Bringing your BOLDEST SELF to your BIGGEST CHALLENGES (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2015): 78-81.