Opening Yourself Up to Listening


Have you ever been in a situation in which you disagree with everything someone is saying but don’t know how to go about changing his or her mind? In the moment, you may want to immediately let the speaker know your position, but in the end, opening yourself up to a different point of view may be more helpful to you.

When you listen to what others say rather than speaking over them, you can identify their key points. Later, this will allow you to find convincing facts that support your position—or perhaps prove your position to be wrong.

In real-life conversations, we may not truly listen to what others are saying because we are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next. While someone is speaking at your next meeting, try writing down the questions that come to mind rather than simply rebutting the comments. Through this exercise, you may or may not form different opinions, but you’ll gain a clearer (and less emotional) understanding of what the other person is saying.

It’s important to listen and consider others’ opinions. While you can’t always change someone’s mind, you can show them your respect by acknowledging their position. Once you listen to their “side,” it will be your turn to offer your perspective—and possibly even arrive at a mutual understanding.

Active listening can work in many different ways. Learn more about practicing persuasive dialogue in our Consultative Selling Skills program.