The most important, life-changing practice that completely changed my outlook on life is in learning the process of active listening. You see, the greatest listeners in the world are the greatest achievers.

Great, Active-Listeners have the following qualities:

1. They summarize what the other person says
2. They paraphrase in their own words what they thought was said.
3. They give the speaker their full attention
4. They create a positive atmosphere by being alert, using eye-contact, and being aware of their own nonverbal behavior.
5. They occupy the “I’m okay-- you’re okay” position
6. They have a spirit of cooperation.
7. They allow the speaker to bounce ideas and feelings off them.
8. They listen to the other person without being judgmental or critical.
9. They are aware of their “hot buttons” and “buzz words,” and they avoid over-reacting to them.
10. They dont give advice, but they make it easier for the person to solve his or her own problems.
11. They serve as a resource person, not a rescuer.

Author's Bio: 

Justin Sachs, author of Your Mailbox Is Full a book which gives teenagers the life-skills and leadership development principles they need to be successful in school and throughout their lives. His products, coaching and speaking services are available on his website at