A friend of mine recently called me and told me of a great opportunity that he had to buy a business. My first thought, as his friend, was to give him advice and tell him what to do. Instead, I thought this would be a good time to use my listening skills as a life coach. I listened to him describe the pros and cons and asked him to talk through what he really wanted and what was important. I asked a lot of “what” questions to try and understand “what” he was really thinking. After about 10 minutes, it was clear to me what he wanted and said, “It sounds to me like you have already made up your mind.” We as friends, family and peers really don’t want people to give us advice. We really want people to listen so we can hear ourselves, so we can make our own decisions. I have found that listening to people brings us closer. The other person feels that they were truly heard and I have a new appreciation of the wonderfulness of the other person. I challenge you that the next time a friend calls you with an issue - ask questions and listen to clarify the issue and sees what happens.