Say less, influence more.

August 6, 2007

Robert Greenleaf once said, “Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.” I don’t know when or why he said this, but it does illustrate the power of listening. The power of listening is that it helps you build relationships. Relationships that can work for you.

After all, people don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to read about you. They want to know more about themselves. Things that matter to them.

And you can’t figure out what those things are by talking non-stop. You have to shut up. You have to listen. To them. To your readers, your boss, your peers, experts, your friends, people in the airport, strangers in the café. What are they talking about? What do they care about?

Listen. Then, when it’s your turn to say something, you’ll know what they want to hear. And you can deliver a message they care about. Become interesting by being interested.

Being a person of influence starts by being a person who listens.

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