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15 Quotes to Inspire You to Become a Better Listener

Listening skills are vital to your success in business -- and in life. For a fresh perspective, consider these insights from the world's great thinkers.
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I've talked with Inc. before about the power of listening in social media. But the truth is, listening isn't just for social media. If there's one skill that we all can get better at, to become better leaders, entrepreneurs, friends, and human beings, it's listening. Recently, I shared 365 quotes from some of the greatest leaders, writers and thinkers of all time.

Here are 15 of my favorite quotes about the all-important skill of listening:

  1. "Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk." --Doug Larson
  2. "One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say." --Bryant H. McGill
  3. "If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk." --Robert Baden-Powell
  4. "Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." --Karl A. Menniger
  5. "Most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking." --Bernard Baruch
  6. "Listening is being able to be changed by the other person." --Alan Alda
  7. "Everything in writing begins with language. Language begins with listening." --Jeanette Winterson
  8. "There is as much wisdom in listening as there is in speaking--and that goes for all relationships, not just romantic ones." --Daniel Dae Kim
  9. "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said" --Peter Drucker
  10. "When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." --Ernest Hemingway
  11. "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." --Stephen R. Covey
  12. "Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer." --Ed Cunningham
  13. "The art of conversation lies in listening." --Malcom Forbes
  14. "You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." --M. Scott Peck
  15. "We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less." --Diogenes

What is your favorite quote about listening? Let me know in the Comments section below, or tweet it! I'll be listening to you! 

Last updated: Jan 9, 2014

DAVE KERPEN | Columnist | CEO, Likeable Media

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable Local. He is also the co-founder and chairman of Likeable Media and the New York Times best-selling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business. Want to learn about how to grow your business using social media in two minutes? Click here.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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