Would you like the secret for success? Do you want to be popular with your friends? Do you want your life, generally, to be more rewarding. The secret is simple. Learn to listen!

Japanese manufacturers have developed this technique to an art form. In Japan you will find top managers mingling, on a regular basis, with workers on the assembly line. What are they doing? Listening.Japanese managers look at it this way: The person who does the job knows the job best. Therefore if you really want to know what is going on, listen to what these people have to say.

Many American managers, unfortunately, do it differently. The system here is often to tell the employee how to do the job even though the manager has never done the work. Any grumbling is usually written off to unwillingness to buckle under to authority.

It has been difficult for American managers to embrace the philosophy of teamwork. Listening is a key element in teamwork.

Take the case of the A604. The A604 is a new four-speed automatic transaxle built by Chrysler. Pre-production models of the A604 were plagued with an internal fluid leak that caused clutch failures.

The quality control people at Chrysler told the engineers that they had a problem. The engineers countered by saying not to worry, they'd have it fixed by production time. Unfortunately, they didn't.

According to a report in Automotive News, a trade publication, at least 5,000 A604 units will have to be replaced on cars already in the hands of customers.

In addition Chrysler has had to delay the introduction of the upscale Plymouth Acclaim LX and its sibling the, Dodge Spirit ES, until the problem is fixed. Among the cars using the A604 is the Chrysler New Yorker Landau, the car touted as having everything, as well as the Plymouth Grand Voyager and Voyager LE, Dodge Grand Caravan, Caravan LE and Dynasty vehicles using a V-6 engine.

Chrysler expects to have the difficulties with the A604 fixed soon. The problem is apparently minor. A bit of listening, might have prevented the problem altogether.