The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. — Henry David Thoreau


Most of the time we hear but never really listen. This can’t be helped, I should think, because the world is filled with all sorts of nonsensical nonsense spilling forth from people you don’t care about, media, politicians… it’s no wonder we prefer to hear rather than listen. That being said, effective listening is an acquired skill that can be useful.

As Thoreau says, listening is an important element in building camaraderie and relationships. Forbes has provided a 10 step guide to listening well:

Some people are natural listeners. Introverts or people with quite disposition prefer to listen rather than talk while extroverts usually love to share their thoughts and ideas. It’s important when conversing that both parties allow each other to contribute their ideas, emotions or thoughts. Don’t just talk! Try some listening, you’ll be surprised at what you may learn.


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