The Best Skill

What do you think is the most valuable skill to employers after your technical ability?

Sure, teamwork is great, hard work, presentation skills and so on. There is one skill though which will always be at a premium and make you an invaluable resource.

The ability to listen without interrupting others.

Think about it. Most peoples idea of listening is actually just waiting their turn to speak. If you can listen to what other people are saying then you get a clear idea of:

  • What they are actually asking for
  • What they really want and not what you think they want
  • What they are about as a person
  • What problem they really want you to help with

Plus the fact people will take an instant liking to anybody who gives them the time of day.

Paul Browning

9 Responses to “The Best Skill”

  1. That is true. We would learn so much more if we listened more and talked less.

  2. Agreed. However I also think the ability to communicate effectively and explain things to people is important. There is no point having all this technical knowledge and not being able to explain it to people.

  3. There is a time to communicate all your technical knowledge, but what Paul is saying is there is also a time to stop for a moment and listen to what other people are communicating to you.

    There is nothing worse than trying to ask, explain or tell someone something and you get continually interrupted.

  4. Went out of my way today to listen and not interupt, worked a treat. People seem to warm to you as a listener.

  5. I think this strategy builds more trust and comfort with the people around you. As we all know women are bored with men who are only interested in hearing themselves. Listening to people is actually a huge advantage.

  6. I cannot tell you how valuable this characteristic is and must be developed by everyone. When I started listening to my wife more. My whole marriage started to shift. My wife even seems to love me more and more.

  7. I agree with Nick. Listening is essential, as is the ability to communicate effectively and explain things to people – in terms they understand and in ways that meet their needs. Truly listening to what other people are saying enables us to better understand and respond to their needs.

  8. So true Garry. Listening to understand the problem or the issue is so important, as is communicating in terms the other person understands. This seems to be especially difficult for people with highly technical knowledge. They must strive to be “bi-lingual” – communicating at a very technical level to one another, and communicating with the rest of us in every day language.

  9. I know I have a lot more confidence in a potential service provider if they take the time to listen, and respond in a way that makes me feel they understood what they heard. If that’s how I feel when I’m the “purchaser” then that’s how I should engage with potential customers of my own business.

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