Success Tweet 107: Listen More Than You Speak

My latest career success coach book, Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less is about to go into its third printing.  That really pleases me.  It has become a greater success than I thought it would be.  You can pick up a copy of Success Tweets at your local bookstore or at  Better yet, you can download it for free at

I’m in the home stretch of a series of blog posts that further explain the career advice in Success Tweets – just 34 more to go.  Today’s career advice comes from Success Tweet 107…

Become an excellent conversationalist by listening more than speaking.  Pay attention to what other people say; respond appropriately.

Dynamic communication is a career success competency.  If you want to become a dynamic communicator, you need to develop three skills: conversation, writing and presenting.  The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word “dynamic” as, “Marked by continuous and productive activity.”  In many ways, this is a good definition for an effective conversation. 

In a conversation, two types of activities occur simultaneously: speaking and listening.  In good conversations, both of these are continuous and productive.  In plain English, when you’re in a conversation, if you’re not speaking and providing information, you need to be listening and receiving it.

In other posts I’ve pointed out that asking good questions is an important way to become known as a great conversationalist.  But to take full advantage of the questions you ask, you need to really listen to the answers and respond appropriately.

Here are my top seven tips for becoming a good listener – and conversationalist.

1. Look the other person in the eye when he or she is speaking.  This demonstrates that you are engaged with him or her.

2. Listen to understand what the other person is saying – not to plan your rebuttal.

3. Listen really hard when the other person begins by saying something with which you don’t agree.

4. Know the words that trigger your emotions.  Don’t get distracted by them.

5. Be patient.  Some people take longer than others to make their point. Don’t interrupt.

6. Ask clarification questions when you don’t understand.

7. Repeat what you have heard the other person say – to make sure you got it right, and to show him or her that you were listening.

These seven tips are great career advice.  If you use them in conversation, you will become known as a great conversationalist and a dynamic communicator.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people are competent.  Dynamic communication is an important key success competency.  If you want to become a dynamic communicator, you have to become a good conversationalist.  To become a good conversationalist follow the career advice in tweet 107 in Success Tweets.  “Become an excellent conversationalist by listening more than speaking. Pay attention to what other people say; respond appropriately.”  Learn to listen well.  Listening, like a lot of career success advice, is just common sense.  Show the other person you are engaged.  Focus on understanding, not on rebutting points with which you don’t agree.  Don’t get distracted by words that trigger your emotions.  Ask clarification questions to ensure you understand what is being said.  Repeat what you’ve heard.  Most of all, get in the habit of listening more that speaking.

That’s my take on listening and the career advice in Success Tweet 107.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your best listening advice.  As always, thanks for reading – and writing.


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