Archive for June 29, 2010

talk less listen more thinking insomniac van

I recently read this post “Listen Everywhere” by Jeffrey Tang on his blog, The Art of Great Things. In it he spoke of listening more and pushing the boundaries of listening.

I lived and worked in India as an architect for about a year and a half. Being there was a challenge, but it was great! I wouldn’t trade it in for anything! I made friends who are now my family. I transferred there from the US. There was a colleague of mine who spoke a lot and listened a little, let’s call him John.

One day I had a meeting with some Mechanical Engineers to discuss the possibility of working together on projects. I invited John to sit in on the meeting with me. I started the meeting at 2pm. John came in about 2:30pm, and the consultants never got a word in until 3:20pm. He spoke for 50mins without them (or me) getting a word in. Whenever I stopped him, and made way for them to tell US about THEM, they were again interrupted by him and his spiel. This went on for 4 hours!…at 6:30pm, I excused myself from the meeting. I was livid to say the least. I left! This meeting (or lack of) ending up costing us a very beneficial business relationship.

I told this to my friend who told me a story that made me laugh. A young lady was at a meeting where one of the men kept talking non-stop, allowing no-one else the opportunity to speak. After having enough of his s**t, the young lady looked at the man and exclaimed, “Can you please stop looking at my breasts?” Yup, that’s what she said. After that exclamation, the man was silent for the remainder of the meeting…it went on without a hitch or “peep” from him.

My point is, don’t talk so much that someone has to embarrass you so that you listen. Don’t talk so much that you lose out, or miss out on valuable information. Listen to others, listen every time you can and everywhere you can. Seek and search for knowledge. When you talk too much without listening, eventually people tell you less, and listen to you less. You soon dwell in a smaller world than you would have had you listened more. Listen; ask questions, and read, read, read.

I want to listen to everyone. There are so many intriguing people with fantastic stories, mistakes, successes, and experiences to learn from. I want to listen to them all! Listen to Jeffrey’s point, and you will learn so much you may never realize.

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