Listening is the key to (almost) everything. Communication wise I mean.
Be a Better Listener - Management Tip of the Day - January 28, 2010 - Harvard Business Review: For years, leadership experts have been encouraging managers to get better at listening (see this HBR article from 1957 for evidence). Good listening isn't just about making the speaker feel respected and heard; it's also about making sure you understand what's truly said. Here are three tips for better listening:
1. Think ahead. Engage in the conversation by thinking ahead and anticipating what the speaker is going to say. Try to see conclusions she will draw; don't just hear the words she's saying.
2. Review. Pause briefly and mentally summarize her points.
3. Listen between the lines. Watch nonverbal cues that could indicate what the speaker isn't saying. Often what she is not saying is as important as what she is.