I was once told the reason humans have two ears and one mouth was to ear twice as much they talk.
Use Your Mistakes; rigorous intellectual honesty, self-scrutiny, and trial and error. “You should learn to take a deep breath, grit your teeth and then examine your own recollections of the mistake as ruthlessly and as dispassionately as you can manage,” rather than mope and grumble. Respect Your Opponent; the essence of persuasion involves getting people to actually listen to you. And they won’t if you’re overly nitpicky, pedantic, mean-spirited, hasty, or unfair. The “Surely” Klaxon; treat the word “surely” as a rhetorical warning sign that an author of an argumentative essay has stated an “ill-examined ‘truism’” without offering sufficient reason or evidence, hoping the reader will quickly agree and move on. While this is not always the case such verbiage often signals a weak point in an argument. Answer Rhetorical Questions; Like the use of “surely,” a rhetorical question can be a substitute for thinking. While rhetorical questions depend on the sense that “the answer is so obvious that you’d be embarrassed to answer it.” Employ Occam’s Razor; “Don’t concoct a complicated, extravagant theory if you’ve got a simpler one that handles the phenomenon just as well. Don’t Waste Your Time on Rubbish; “Sturgeon’s law,” which states that roughly “90% of everything is crap.” While this may be an exaggeration, the point is that there’s no point in wasting your time on arguments that simply aren’t any good. Beware of Deepities; A deepity is “a proposition that seems both important and true—and profound—but achieves this effect by being ambiguous.”
Now I will retreat to the listening part.