Listening is an important skill that requires concentration, an open mind, and the discipline to not interrupt. If you do not possess the ability to listen then your relationships and business dealings will never work out optimally.
We are all naturally self-absorbed to a certain degree. We all have selfish tendencies. It's instinct. It's part of survival. If you do not take care of yourself and your family then the risk of something horrible happening greatly increases.
Couple these selfish instincts with pride and listening can be a very challenging thing to do. It's easier when someone is praising you, but when they are speaking of themselves, or worse, criticizing you, our attention spans shorten greatly.
But without the ability to listen you will never get to know someone. You would never hear the feedback that is provided to you in order to better your personal or professional lives. To be the best version of yourself, to have thriving relationships, to succeed in all the areas of life that matter to you, you must listen.
Listen to your friends and family as they speak of their successes, failures, and challenges. Be present, but don't turn the conversation about you or tell them how to solve a problem they are dealing with (unless they specifically request your input). Many times people just need to talk, verbalize their thoughts and feelings, and have someone who will listen without judgement, persecution, or an opinion. Be the ears they need.
When feedback comes your way, be open to it. Listen and learn. Do not become defensive, angered, or confrontational. Feedback is key to improvement. If you are not doing something right in a relationship don't you want to know so you can improve it? If you are not completing a work task like you should don't you deserve to know before they fire you? If you are selling a product and something is wrong with it wouldn't you like the opportunity to correct it so that it could sell better?
Listening is difficult to do properly, but it's a important skill to reach the apex of our lives.
We are Amber and Jordan Kirbey. We are excited to share our experiences and ideas with you!