2. Learn to LISTEN!
This is obviously related to the first point… Most people hear, but don’t listen. This distinction is subtle but it makes a world of a difference.
When you LISTEN you are paying attention not only to the words, but also to the inflections, tone and other nonverbal cues, all the stuff between the lines, in addition to the choice of words, volume, and the tempo. Most importantly, when you listen you are interpreting what the person is trying to say from the heart. Ever met someone that is a good listener? You may not be able to tell how they are doing it, but somehow you just feel very cared for. That’s the difference between being listened to, and simply being heard.
Not that long ago I met a police officer (off duty, thankfully!) and he was a pretty cool character, with lots of interesting stories. What struck me the most though, is that he REALLY listened and remembered details of the conversation we had 20-30 minutes before, and could paraphrase what I had said. Really a remarkable skill to have!
Id really encourage you to try to learn this skill. Its not only great for waiting tables (clients everywhere and all ages LOVE to feel they are heard! ) but in life most of us sadly listen very little to what others have to say.
So if you want to learn how to LISTEN effectively at work, here is a great article:
And if you just wanna watch a video, here is a great TED talk about it