We live in the midst of a crisis of listening. Most men don’t listen well enough, so if you choose to, you boost your value. Show up and be deliberate and you’ll be more valuable.
It’s true, we always find what we look for. A lesser known truth, though, is that frequently we hear what we listen for. If you aren’t listening specifically to hear something, you might miss it. Think of the last time you listened to a favorite song. When was the last time you listened specifically to hear a particular melody within the song or a particular instrument in the band? If you listen for it, you’ll hear it. Now, this is assuming, I admit, that it is there, but when it comes to listening to people, there are some things you can always hear if you listen carefully enough.
Call to action: Today, look for three opportunities to listen for something good in any conversation. While it may not seem a valuable exercise, I assure you it’s the easiest way to learn to use targeted listening—the practice of learning for specific messages or signals another person may be sending, either intentionally or otherwise.
Be deliberate and listen aggressively.