Communication begins when someone becomes aware of us, not just when we start talking. Eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures—are you paying attention? People say a lot without saying anything at all. When it comes to words, leaders listen first and speak second. Active listening requires selflessness. Stop thinking of what you are going to say next and start paying attention to what the other person is saying right now. Maintain eye contact, don’t look at your phone, and ask insightful follow-up questions. Lastly, learn the other person’s name. There is no trick to this. Simply ask until you remember.
“Silence is sometimes the best answer.”
Dalai Lama, Buddhist monk and spiritual leader of Tibet
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