In regards to listening:
“Listen to listen. Not to respond.” Two short, incomplete sentences and one complete thought equaling the best piece of advice that I have received. It is important to really listen to what someone is saying because their words are coming from a different place; somewhere internal and drenched in their perceptions of reality. You can learn an abundance of information about a person by truly listening and examining the words someone speaks.
So often we “listen” just so we can open our mouths to respond. If you really take in what someone else is saying, you will learn more. Do this more often then not.