The very foundation of all successful interpersonal relations, is developing a genuine interest in the other person. This involves the ability to truly listen, caring for the other persons interests & opinions, taking the effort to remember their names and other important details and willing to overlook minor imperfections.
The value of listening
You learn by listening: Your ears are your intake valves. They feed your mind raw materials that can be converted into creative power. We learn nothing from telling. But there is no limit to what we can learn by asking and listening. Encourage others to talk. Test your own views in the form of questions. Concentrate on what the other person says.David J Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big
“Seek first to understand” involves a very deep shift in paradigm. We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.
We’re usually “listening” at one of four levels. We may be ignoring another person, not really listening at all. We may practice pretending. “Yeah. Uh-huh. Right.” We may practice selective listening, hearing only certain parts of the conversation. We often do this when we’re listening to the constant chatter of a preschool child. Or we may even practice attentive listening, paying attention and focusing energy on the words that are being said. But very few of us ever practice the fifth level, the highest form of listening, empathic listening.Stephen Covey – Author – 7 habits of Highly Effective People / The 8th Habit / First Things First
If you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people. A boil on one’s neck interests one more than forty earthquakes in Africa.Dale Carnegie – Self improvement Guru, Author – How to Win Friends & Influence People / How to Stop Worrying & Start Living / The Leader in You
Accept imperfections: Accept human differences and limitations. Don’t expect anyone to be perfect, Remember, the other person has a right to be different. And don’t be a reformer. Find qualities to like and admire in a person, not things to dislike. And don’t let others prejudice your thinking about a third person. Think positive thoughts toward people—and get positive results. Practice conversation generosity.David J Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big
The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simple. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.
You want the approval of those with whom you come in contact. You want recognition of your true worth. You want a feeling that you are important in your little world. You don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but you do crave sincere appreciation. You want your friends and associates to be, as Charles Schwab put it, ‘hearty in their approbation and lavish in their praise.’ All of us want that. So let’s obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others what we would have others give unto us.Dale Carnegie – Self improvement Guru, Author – How to Win Friends & Influence People / How to Stop Worrying & Start Living / The Leader in You
Recommended Books – Genuine Interest in Others
Other concepts on Personality
First impressions are the impressions that we form of others when we encounter them for the first time, and before we get to know them better. First impressions lay the foundation of future interactions, which makes the study and practise of the biases that impact first impressions a vital tool in interpersonal relations.
There are certain traits that help radiate a strong and positive personality. These traits can be studied, learnt, practised and perfected. From your self-image, the confidence that you radiate, your likeability and more, understand how you can hone your personality to become more attractive, confident and successful.
We prefer to spend time and do business with people that we trust, and avoid any interactions with those that we have lost our trust in. Trust can take years to develop, yet be lost within a matter of minutes. Understand the key elements that lead to trust developing, and how to ensure that you don’t do things that break it.