One of the hardest skills for me to learn and practice has been learning how to listen. Ask anyone I know and they’ll tell you instantly that I’m the type of the person who’ll tell you their life story as soon as you meet me and then I’ll keep on talking.
However, as Richard Branson says, “listen more than you talk. Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak.” It’s definitely advice that you can apply in and out of the workplace. One of my current goals has been trying to play the game that Sheryl Sandberg recommended in her book, “Lean In”. If you are a talker, try to listen during the entire meeting. If you are a listener, try to voice your opinions and thoughts during the meeting. As I’m a talker, I’ve been attempting to try and listen more and resist the impulse to voice my opinion all the time. It’s definitely a life-long skill that I struggle with and will always need to work on.
“You never know what you might learn from simply listening to the people around you.” When I first interned at a tech company, my manager and other supervisors taught me that I should always bring a notebook wherever I go. It’s advice that is reiterated to me on a daily basis working in the Big 4 and I try to apply it as there is so much that I can learn from everyone around me.
So try it. Listen and write it down. I can’t wait to see what I learn tomorrow by listening!