Listen first, talk later

Learn how to really listen to people. Your attention should be on what they’re saying when they’re speaking, not on your response. Being a good listener who waits until the other person has finished speaking enables you to ask better questions and will give you the key to understanding what really matters to them. It will also save you from looking like an idiot in all the cases in which your interruption would have been inappropriate.

Respecting another person’s opinion is important for three reasons. One, by doing so, you don’t hurt their feelings which could cause them to be negative towards any idea you may share later. Two, well, they may be right, so by listening to what they have to say you give yourself a chance to avoid making a fool of yourself. Three, by listening to them and giving them a chance to speak you’re gathering information you can use to tailor your idea to tie in with what they’ve already got in mind.