Listening is the most important skill you need to network. Through listening you build a bond of trust. Through listening you gather information to see how you can help someone else and how you or your network can be helped. Here are several things to stop doing when listening to people:
- Stop judging.
- Stop talking. It is difficult to listen and speak at the same time.
- Stop thinking you already know what will be said.
- Stop hanging on to your own opinion and your desire to be right.
- Stop focusing on what you are going to say next.
- Stop thinking listening is the same as not talking.
- Stop thinking you can't be a good listener.
"A professional networker is someone who attentively listens ... to a subject he knows everything about ... told by someone who knows nothing about it." -Dale Carnegie
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Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the best-sellers "Let's Connect!" and "How to REALLY use LinkedIn" and a well-known international networking and referrals speaker. With his team at Networking Coach, he works for international companies such as Alcatel, Deloitte, IBM, ING and Nike. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com/. To get your free mini version of the book "How to REALLY use LinkedIn," go to www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com.