Fierce Excerpts: The power of listening.

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*Image: Lucille Manley, my grandmother, was one of the the best listeners I have ever met. She always made you feel like you were the only person in the room.

Now Reading | The Simple Secret to Making an Instant Connection with Everyone. (Entrepreneur) 

Here’s a little trivia. Did you know that we listen at 125-250 words per minute, but that we think at 1,000 to 3,000 words per minute? Fascinating. And did you know that “listen” and “silent” have the exact same letters? I did not realize that but I think that is pretty cool. Being a good listener is a critical skill for us in the advertising business. A huge part of what we do is listen. Our success depends on it 100%. We have to listen first to understand, and only then can we apply what we learn to our expertise and experience and make a difference for our clients brands.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey

There is a big difference between hearing and listening. When you truly listen to understand, you gain so much more from the conversation and you make a connection with the person you are talking with. Entrepreneur had some good tips on being an active listener.

First, information is power. 

Since information is a powerful competitive advantage, you’re wise to spend your time acquiring more of it. We should be spending our time learning from others. Everyone has something they can teach us, no matter who they are or where they come from. 

For the appropriate breakdown of talking vs listening, follow the 80/20 rule. When you’re on a date,  in a meeting or attending a networking event, listen 80 percent of the time, talk 20 percent of the time.

Listen to be heard. 

Have you met someone who seemed to understood everything you said and made you feel like the only person in the room? They were simply nodding their head, reiterating what you had already said and sharing a personal story that seemed remarkably similar to yours.

Probably fewer than 50 words came out of their mouth that entire conversation. Yet, you walked away with a heightened perception of that person’s intelligence, connection and social skills because they genuinely cared. They asked questions that pushed you below the surface level of the everyday small talk. They shared a similarity to you that caused an interpersonal attraction. 

Read the entire article here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236772