It is curious that all the surveys continue to confirm that everyone wants more listening… listening from your partner, a service provider, from a manager; the reality is rarely do people actually listen. When you listen, its more than just hearing what someone says. It means that you play back to them what you thought they said. When you do that, you reduce the margin for error between what you heard and what they said. And, more important, when you play it back, they feel understood. If they feel understood, they are much less likely to get defensive. Spend more time listening to what people say and then play back to them, particularly when it is important what they said. When you do that, you actually make progress because listening is the best way to get your point across.
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