What's been your most recent experience of a powerful learning derived through focused listening?
Although I'm an extrovert, my listening skills are a source of pride for me. And those skills paid off in a big way as I recently listened carefully to a conversation two people were having about their respective takes on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. The individuals each presented their differing views in a nuanced and uncharged way and my decision to remain totally silent - despite a few statements that triggered me - helped me learn a few things.
From the person in the pair whose view seemed closer to mine, I saw how effective it was to stay in control of emotions having a conversation like this. From the other person, I learned a more effective way to present factual information. From both, I re-learned the importance of civility.
Most importantly, by listening vs. talking, I recognized the gaps in my knowledge, flaws in my logic and work to be done to help make my views nuanced and uncharged.