A lot of the "how to be a good listener" reading that I'm coming across also seems to intersect with the idea of leadership. Now, like me, you may only be interested in one or the other (I don't have a particular interest in leading people, for example.) And while I do not want to lead people, I do want to be successful. And *people* for better or worse, seem to be part of my journey to success.
After all, no one I know is living in a bubble. Navigating the world with even the smallest amount of ambition requires a person to able to manuever others in order to reach their own objectives (and the objectives of others-- assume you're benevolent!). And if the late President Truman is to believed, then "In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still." No progress can be just as terrible for economies, societies, and individuals--(the whole power project is all about progress!)
But if your main objective in learning how to listen is to help you learn how to live more powerfully, it might be important to consider the following:
*You can't lead people if you don't know what they want
*You can't know what they want if you don't listen to them
It's that simple. And yet good leadership motivates, inspires, and directs others--all very active intentions. So it seems out of sync with something as seemingly passive as "listening". So for those of you out there that think there is little to no value in listening, that ain't nobody got time for that, the research suggests otherwise.
Listening is crucial to success.
Instead of doing more, being more, working harder, pushing yourself, and striving, maybe what you need to do is just shut up and listen.
After all, if you shut up and pay attention, aren't you more likely to hear about the opportunities around you? Won't you be in a better position to help those who can later help you?
Bet your bottom dollar.
For those of your particularly interested in the intersection of business, leadership, aid/service, success, and listening, you could watch this awesome Ted Talk:
or if you prefer articles, or would like to supplement the video, you can read this :