but wisdom listens.
--- Jimi Hendrix
Have you ever heard that we have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen at least twice as much as we speak?
Listening is a source of wisdom not only because it’s the only way to understand another person, but also because it’s in such short supply and high demand. As such, it sets you aside from others who just blab on about their lives to an audience whose attention is focused elsewhere.
You may be one of those “talk first, ask questions later” people because you feel you have something important to say and are afraid of not ever being heard. Listen first and you will then speak to an engaged audience your words will reach.
An old saying in negotiation is ‘He who speaks first, loses.’ When you speak first, you often play your trump card without it even being noticed. The other person doesn’t pay attention because you haven’t prepared them for it, nor have you prepared yourself to deliver it within the context of what they know and value. So to this old saying I would add another: ‘He who speaks last, lasts.’
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).