If I Knew Then Advice on careers, finance, and life from Harvard Business School's Class of 1963

Artie Buerk on Happiness & Success

When I entered Harvard Business School, I was staggered by the ability of classmates (especially Ivy-Leaguers) to talk. Everyone seemed trained to be very articulate. In my mind, people were given two ears and one mouth for a reason: one should listen many more times than one should talk.

Active listening requires understanding what you are hearing, asking follow-up questions, and watching body language. The better one listens, the better one learns.

As one ages, it seems that people tend to talk more about themselves and less about the people they are talking to. Listen more and talk less for success.

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