We all know that’s generally better to listen than to speak. The more you listen to others, the better you can understand what they’re actually saying.
This may lead to better understanding of a technical issue that they’re sharing, reasons behind their political views, or clarity on the trip you’re taking with them next week. In all cases, you benefit from paying attention.
But listening doesn’t mean just being quiet — it means showing people that they matter. To a degree, listening with curiosity is a sign of respect. If you can listen carefully and develop some empathy by really putting yourself in the story they’re telling, you’ll better understand what they’re sharing and it’s a win for everyone.