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March 4, 2005

Excerpts: Never Eat Alone - Part IX

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 1:55 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Learn to Listen
As William James pointed out, The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
You should be governed by the idea that one should seek first to understand, then to be understood. Were often so worried about what were going to say next that we dont hear whats being said to us now.
There are few ways to signal to your listener that you are interested and listening actively. Take the initiative and be the first person to say hello. This demonstrates confidence and immediately shows your interest in the other person. When the conversation starts, dont interrupt. Show empathy and understanding by nodding your head and involving your whole body in engaging the person youre talking with. Ask questions that demonstrate (sincerely) you believe the other persons opinion is particularly worth seeking out. Focus on their triumphs. Laugh at their jokes. And always, always, remember the other persons name. Nothing is sweeter to someones ears than their own name. At the moment of introduction, I visually attach a persons name to their face. Seconds later, Ill repeat the persons name to make sure I got it, and then again periodically throughout the conversation.
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