Talk Less, Listen More

by Avish Parashar - Date: 2007-01-26 - Word Count: 271 Share This!

The simple key to working well with others is to listen more and talk less. This is also one of the hardest, as people always feel the need to explain themselves or prove their point. Unfortunately, talking until you are blue in the face will get you nothing beyond a blue face.

A useful way to remember the proportion of listening to speaking you should be doing is to remember that you have two ears and one mouth. Quite simply, you should listen twice as much as you speak.

I know salespeople will say, 'but my product is so complex I need to explain all the features.' Managers will say, 'I need to explain to my people what the policies are and what they should be doing.' Computer specialists will say, 'the users don't understand and don't know what they want, so I need to explain it to them.'

In all of these cases, the person would be better off listening more. Regardless of how complex a product is, a salesperson would do better to listen and first discover the prospect's needs. Managers who listen more than they speak will learn all that they need to effectively deal with their subordinates. IT professionals will connect with users and be able to address concerns much more effectively if they actually listen to and learn what those concerns are.

In a meeting of the National Speakers Association, veteran speaker and sales trainer Tim Connors said, 'you only learn when you are speaking.' If you want to convince someone of something, you need them to learn - ergo, you need to let them speak.

Remember: Two ears and one mouth…

Related Tags: teamwork, motivation, communication, team, motivational speaker, improv comedy, funny speaker


Avish Parashar is a dynamic professional speaker who shows organizations and individuals how to get what they want using the Art and Science of improv comedy. He weaves together humorous stories, witty observations, and interactive exercises from improvisational comedy to get people laughing, learning, and motivated!

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