You can learn the most by staying completely silent. By listening to someone else speak, you can understand motives. Understanding motives provides you the opportunity to form a relationship and over time come to know the person.
Dale Carnegie is a world-famous author on dealing with people. In his bestselling books and seminars, one point he hits on many times is putting the needs of the other person before your own. Instead of focusing on what you want, put the focus on their driving forces. Find out what motivates them. If you can figure this out, you will be more effective in whatever you are trying to carry out, as well as gain the respect of that person.
One of Zig Ziglar's most well-known quotes states, "You can have everything you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want." Until you know what they want, you cannot make it happen.
Do you want to know how do you do that? Listen to them.
Typically, we are not good listeners. We like to hear ourselves talk. The sound of our voice tends to sound better to us than almost anything else. When conversing with others, we want to be the center of the discussion. Rarely do we stop to ask about their lives first. We like to dominate the conversation, but why?
Instead of being the center of attention, put others in that place. Instead of trying to think of what your next comment will be, listen to what they are saying. Being disengaged causes us to miss out on the present and shows a lack of respect to the other person. You will have your turn to talk. Be patient.
When the person you are talking to is not engaged in the conversation, you know. All of us have been that situation where we know the person we are talking to is not hearing what we are saying. However, when the other party is actively listening, deep inside you get an increased feeling of self-worth. They are showing how much they care and are interested in you by not saying a word. This is what it means to listen. Physically being there is not enough, you have to connect with the person.
When you find yourself in deep conversation, slight pauses are good. Do not be afraid of moments of silence. Moments like this allow profound words to soak in and can have major impacts. Silence is an integral part of listening. It shows that both parties are engaged and processing what has been said. Embrace the silence.
Do not keep yourself in the center of attention, but instead take a step back and focus on others.