It's easier than it ever before to communicate at scale through social media. Technology has even made 1-on-1 communication easier - for example, many of my meetings are done via video conference, allowing me to have a face-to-face connection with people all across the world!

However, what many leaders fail to grasp is that talking is only 50% of communication. The other half - and the part so many struggle with - is listening. Too many people aren't even listening when they say they are - they're simply waiting to talk. Great listeners, on the other hand, become well-respected and are able to learn a lot more. Great listeners become great leaders.

I've written before about the power of inspiring quotations to move us and others to action. Here, then, are 11 quotes to help inspire you to listen better, which will allow you to become a better leader, friend, spouse, boss, and person.

  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. "Everything in writing begins with language. Language begins with listening." --Jeanette Winterson
  7. "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." --Stephen R. Covey
  8. "Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer." --Ed Cunningham
  9. "The art of conversation lies in listening." --Malcom Forbes
  10. "You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." -M. Scott Peck
  11. "We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less." --Diogenes

One of my favorite ways to work on my listening is to record the amount of time I spend talking compared to listening in conversations. It's not just about the quantity of time, either- it's about the quality of listening.

What was your favorite quote? What steps are you going to take to become a better listener?