When was the last time you truly listened to another person? When you didn't already formulate your answer in your head while your counterpart was still speaking. When you didn't get impatient because the other person's story was taking too long and you couldn't wait to tell your own. When you didn't interrupt with "I knew that! Guess what happened to me? I ..."
Certainly, we are all capable of it. We manage to pull it off all the time when we are after something. We bring out our best when we are trying to close a deal with a new client or to impress a new partner.
Why don't we attentively listen to others all the time? It's easy to forget and get distracted. But it's a simple way to make a positive impression on someone and build a lasting relationship.
Ready to test your listening skills? Here is a simple exercise: Close your eyes and slowly count to 50 in your head. Don't let any other thoughts intrude. Just focus on keeping the count.
Did you finish it without interruption? Many people can't. Now, consider this: How will you be able to listen to another person, if you can't even listen to yourself?