Listening – A Valuable Skill to Master

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something” is a quote authored by the American playwright, Wilson Mizner. As this quote implies, there is much knowledge to be learned from just listening to others. But in order to gain this knowledge one must be willing to listen and allow others to speak.  

The ability to listen and encourage others to speak is a valuable skill to learn. Most people appreciate an individual who has the ability to listen, absorb what has been said and then be able to respond with a meaningful comment. Good listeners are typically more popular and thus have more friends than an individual who continually dominates a conversation.  

Have you ever noticed that individuals who are willing to listen are generally more knowledgeable than individuals who are constantly talking? Many individuals have a unique talent for talking and gain great pleasure from all the attention. Unfortunately, these conversationalists rarely end up saying anything of value to anyone other than themselves.  As the quote states, listening provides an excellent means to gain knowledge as well as a multitude of other things. Listening presents an opportunity to develop patience and tolerance while potentially being provided with a new perspective and point of view.

In the past, listening to others has revealed various viewpoints that I had not considered. Standing back and listening allowed me to analyze the situation from various angles which resulted in me arriving at a solution to the problem – all from listening!  There have been many occasions when I did not feel as though I had anything of importance to add to a conversation so rather than just talking to hear myself speak I just listened. 

Fortunately, these moments typically yielded at least one tidbit of valuable information all because I listened rather than throwing my two cents worth in. So try to listen more and gather friends as you gain more knowledge without expending the effort to speak.  

Submitted by Kathy Shrader