Are you an active listener? An active listener makes listening for understanding the focus of a conversation. You'll have plenty of time to express yourself. First, listen.
Listening is a survival skill.
I have never regretted listening to understand before responding. Plenty of times I have regretted speaking too soon. Listening can keep you out of trouble. That conclusion you jumped to? Perhaps a moment more of listening would have clarified the situation.
That insult you didn't intend? Could more listening have alerted you to a sensitive area in your conversational partner?
That breach of etiquette, that spilling of confidential information, that career limiting rant -- so many communication mistakes can be prevented by curious listening.
If you want to communicate for results, you have to first know what your audience hears. You get there by listening. Listening to the words, the tone, the body language, the in-between-the-lines nuances of emotions.
Listening is a survival skill. Are you practicing today?
-- doug smith