If you’re one of those people who can pretty much get along with anyone you’re very fortunate. As for myself, getting along with others is something I’ve had to work on, and continue to monitor. Even so, every now and again, I’ll meet an individual who’ll manage to get under my skin.
Now, because I take the time and energy to work at understanding people better, this has given me the added advantage, of understanding myself
For example, a recent encounter has taught me a little more about my competitive nature (we’re all competitive to a greater or lesser degree) and helped me improve my listening skills. You may have experienced this yourself. Think about a time when you’ve been in conversation and the individual you’ve been talking to listens for a while but then leads the conversation around to their topic of interest. And if you should look to bring the conversation round to your topic of interest you’re practically ignored. Some have labelled this habit as being symptomatic of autism. I would prefer to call this Competitive Conversation. The reason for someone ignoring you and constantly dominating the conversation is simply due to their competitive nature. I recently met someone who does this to a pathological degree. And it annoyed me.
Because it annoyed me, I was gifted with the understanding of how I can tend to do this due to my competitive nature
I have since modified my behaviour and as a result improved my listening skills. I’ve needed to mindfully remind myself that I have nothing to prove and no reason to compete. I’ve needed, once again, to build my confidence. In respect to the individual who annoyed me, I suddenly realised, the reason he stopped listening, whenever I talked about myself, was because he couldn’t compete with what I was seeking to discuss. At first I thought he was trying to antagonise me, but as a result of thinking about it, I came to a better understanding.
In conclusion, if you want to be a powerful listener, be mindful of how competitive your conversation might be. Be aware of how you might be unintentionally verbally bullying someone. Build your confidence sufficiently to help subdue your will. When there is no battle of wills you are the listener and become far wiser as a result.