Back to the Basics

If you’re already good at listening to others and practicing discovery skills, this list may seem elementary. In my experience, however, most of us forget – or get a little rusty – with the fundamentals.


The Young Entrepreneur Council offers these simple reminders in their article, “5 Underrated Conversational Skills of Highly Successful People”:

  1. Don’t interrupt.
  2. Don’t give unsolicited advice
  3. Ask questions (and actually listen)
  4. Pay it forward
  5. Meet the person, not their occupation

In truth, I know a lot of “highly successful people” who fail to consistently put these skills to work. They’re key for networking, but also for assertive communication, building trust and relationship, and collaboration.

Read through the article and score yourself 1-5 on each of these skills, with 1 being “terrible” and 5 being excellent. How do you rate on each skill?  What role does context play? What actions will you take to make improvements?


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