All of your life, you’ve probably been hearing that you should be a good listener, but I’ll tell you again. Listening skills are one of the most important things you can have to be successful with women. If you are able to listen to what a woman is saying, and I mean really LISTEN, then you’ll be able to comment on it, because it is going to bring out an emotion, a story, or some way of connecting to it. And that’s what conversation is; it’s two people sharing experiences, thoughts, and stories – and as a result, they both feel more of a connection when the conversation ends.

Let’s think about the flow of a conversation with a woman. When you’re having a good conversation with a woman, you’ll talk, she’ll talk, you’ll talk, she reacts to what you say, you react to what she says, and the conversation moves forward. It feels natural and doesn’t require lines or canned routines.

You definitely don’t keep talking about the opener, which I know a lot of guys get stuck on. Many guys get trapped, because they are so focused on remembering this great opener they just learned, and they pull it off, but then find themselves completely out of anything to say. And then they’ll find themselves in the worst situation ever. Silence. Awkward silence that seems to last forever, because they don’t know what to say… because they were not listening.

listening skills

Listening is a skill that you can develop, and I want to share with you how I started developing my listening skills. When I was younger, I went out and started talking to people all day and really asking them questions.

*As a side note, I know a lot of guys who will take this too far, because there is an approach out there being taught that says to ask a lot of questions and then just listen. The mistake I see guys do when trying this out is that they end up sounding like Larry King interviewing somebody, which is not what you want.

When I’d go I started with the basics, and I’d force myself to listen. I would go up to people and simply say, “Hi, how are you?” But I would ask with energy, and I would also convey my question in a way that showed I really cared about how they were doing… and then I would sit back and listen to their responses and then react to it. Don’t worry about what comes next, don’t worry about keeping the conversation going, just worry about one thing – listening to what they say.

I know this seems so simple, but doing this one exercise will improve your listening and conversational skills by leaps and bounds. So don’t let it’s simplicity fool you. And don’t just say to yourself you can already do it, because everyone can be better at this. The only way to get better is to PRACTICE!

Here’s another situation. When you’re in a group, and I know that this is a tough thing for a lot of you guys, you may find yourself in a social situation in which the conversation is not going in your favor. You find that you don’t have anything to add or say, and when in this situation, a lot of guys will try to steer that conversation in their direction.

This is the wrong approach, because to be successful, the key is to simply listen. What I do in these situations is just listen to other people talk and pay attention to where the conversation is going. I would listen, and I would learn new things, but I would also watch people and note the way they interacted with each other. The important thing is to be ok with the silence, and accept that there are times when you have nothing to add, and just be present in the moment so the next time that type of conversation comes up you have this experience to fall back on. Don’t force anything, just listen and learn.

Here’s a great exercise I used to do to increase my listening skills. I would go out and sit down next to two women in a coffee shop, and I would just listen to their entire conversation – I’d listen to what they were saying, and I’d watch to see how they listened to each other and how they reacted to each other. What ends up occurring – and what’s crucial to becoming a good listener – is you’ll begin to see that neither woman is focused on what to say next; they’re just in the moment, reacting to each other. You can’t anticipate what to say next, because nobody knows what the other person is about to say. Conversations are about people reacting and building off of what each person is saying. It’s not scripted, and it’s why scripted routines will never work in the long run! They might get you in the door, but in order to succeed you need to be able to listen and converse!

So force yourself to listen. Here’s another exercise I want you to do. Go out with one of your friends and bring a voice recorder. Keep the recorder on as you guys just converse naturally, and try not to change how you converse just because you know you’re being recorded. Then go home and listen to it. What do you hear? Did you listen, did you react to what they said, or were you forcing the conversation? How many times did you interrupt? Pay attention to the fact that you did not really think about the conversation and how you were instead reacting to the natural flow of thoughts and ideas.

When you’re done doing this I want you to realize something. Nothing should change when you’re talking with women! It shouldn’t be forced; it should just be natural and based on you listening and making observations about the situation around you. I want you to do this exercise over and over and over again until you become a really good listener. Because when you become a great listener, you are going to become a great conversationalist, and you are going to be on your way to becoming a natural with women.

Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to be a good listener, I want you to write down reasons why YOU are a good listener, and areas you can still improve on. Don’t skip this! Writing these down and taking the time to analyze what you’ve written is how you’ll learn and make yourself better!