Learning to Listen
Most of us were taught to “be quiet and listen”. The being quiet part wasn't difficult for me … the listen part definitely was. I should tell you now that I have a hearing problem. When I was 6 months old I went deaf – for no apparent medical reason – then within months my hearing returned. It deteriorated over the years. In my 30's I got two hearing aids and found that there was an incredibly loud world out here … but that's a different story. As is the one where I no longer where hearing aids, quite a few years after quitting smoking.
For the moment, let's stick with learning to listen.
Having a hearing problem meant that I couldn't fully understand the spoken word. As I went through school I learned how to read body language, facial cues and eyes. And I can tell you, in all honesty, that when someone talks about ‘active listening' I know exactly what they mean. I would be exhausted after a day at school, worn out after a few hours with a friend or two. All because I would focus my entire attention on the person speaking … needing to see the face, see the eyes, watch the body language.
This is what every one can do to be a better listener – pay attention to whole person, not just the words. Learn how to read body language, facial cues and especially the eyes.
Listen to Learn
This has served me well into my adult years. I'm known as a good listener by many, and I'm able to use this skill to learn from others – much more than their words tell me. I've gotten quite good at ‘reading people' and am able to discern the important pieces of the conversation. This doesn't mean that I always learn what I'm supposed to – sometimes I'm distracted by the body language or facial cues, telling me that the person is hiding something. And I get more interested in what they're hiding then in what they're saying. Not always a good distraction, and something I try to be aware of so that I don't miss out on what I can learn. But in most cases I am able to learn from that person.
Learn Who to Listen To
This is where true Wisdom comes in.
It comes from experience with following the wrong people, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes. Some of them are costly. There are many people that think they've been scammed by an internet con artist, when in actuality they weren't ready to learn the lessons the expert was teaching. And then there are the real stories of people following those who scream “I'm the Expert!” and find out that in reality, they're not.
Those mistakes can be avoided by selecting a mentor or role model that is actively doing what you want to do, actively living how you want to live, actively sharing the how and why of their life.
In business, be it an internet marketing business, an internet based business, or a brick & mortar business, there are thousands of people willing to offer their advice. Of those, there are hundreds of successful people willing to offer their advice. Of those, there are a few hundred that might be a good fit for you. It's your job to find the one that meets your needs.
Keep in mind, that it doesn't have to be a single person.
Think of the groups or teams you belong to now – those groups that fit your need for acceptance, camaraderie, fun, learning and more. Be it a reading group or a basketball team, a chess club or a gaming club, a professional association or hiking group. Within these groups are those you follow and listen to. Because they have the experience and can show you how they got there. Notice I say ‘they' – it's not necessary that there be just a single person that you follow … not if you have a group to rely on for guidance.
All of this can be broken down to one phrase: Follow the Winners.
Much success to you in your quest of Learning Who to Listen To – once you find them you will be amazed at the positive changes that happen to you personally, professionally and with your business.