There is too much talking and not enough listening. This is particularly so in politics where it is believed that the more you talk and the louder, the more your views will get through. I don’t believe this is so, but it might be since that is what I see on political segments on television and hear on the radio.

I do not think the browbeating is effective. It is also a way for the speaker to maintain their own narrow views because they do not let contrary opinions into their minds. They are either too busy talking or thinking of the next thing they will say when someone else is trying to browbeat them.

My interactions are with entrepreneurs, business leaders, and thought leaders. I noticed quite a while ago that they speak much less than might be assumed and are active listeners.

The following is a short chapter from my Power Bites book, published in 2010. It is still significant and contains important tips. The chapter’s title is the same as this blog’s title.

“If talking was more important than listening, you would have two mouths and one ear.”

“How can you learn anything when you are talking?”

“Human nature being what it is, the more you let someone else talk, the smarter you seem.”

“Be an active listener. A good listener can still control the conversation by well-spaced interruptions and short key questions leading or directing the speaker.”

“Choose whom you want to listen to—avoid ramblers and those who just like to hear themselves speak.”

Be a responsible listener. If you are with someone who is supposed to learn from you, and they don’t let you talk but do all the talking, you’ll lose out when they realize they spent “wasted” time with you (even though it is of their choosing). You will lose positioning as a resource for them. When you are with them, try to redirect the discussion to the matter at hand. They sometimes need you to interrupt them. In situations when it really is impossible to redirect the chatterer, follow up the next day with telephone “responses” to questions or issues raised or to what should have been conveyed by you, so your role as the trusted provider of important information would remain intact.

Takeaways

One final comment is that I keep a card with me and on my desk that reads: W.A.I.T. which reminds me to listen more. Why am I talking?

My Memoirs as a CPA book is available in Kindle and print editions at Amazon. Buy it, read it and enjoy it!

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