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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

CHAPTER 20

The Power of Patient Listening

People are always willing to follow advice when it accords with their own wishes.

  -- LADY BLESSINGTON

Before you stop listening and start speaking, always take the time to consider what's going on with the person or people you're speaking with -- that is, their emotional level. No matter how many ideas or insights may occur to you, if the other person is excited or angry or unhappy, it's still listening time for you. Be patient. Give them a chance to let off steam. When they are ready, they'll ask for your opinion and, if they're looking for answers, they'll ask questions. Sometimes a person's emotions and the listener's logic are like oil and water -- very difficult to mix.

Your Tools for Charming Others

Whenever you are "attentively listening" and the person speaking seems to be very emotional, listen with added patience before you say anything. Let the person talk and get all of his or her anger or emotion out before you attempt to jump in and offer any suggestions.

Most important, be careful about giving advice unless someone asks for it. Your sympathetic listening will be much appreciated.

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