I think this is one of the most essential skills in life that has almost completely fallen by the wayside and in modern America, which is the art of listening, the skill of listening—a very difficult skill that requires education and tons of practice. If you do it right, active listening makes you exhausted by the end because it takes so much energy. Where you don’t just hear the words that are spoken, but you understand the meaning behind those words. Where you seek out common ground, to try to find whether there are common values—only then can you actually start to have a discussion.
I think the lesson is best captured by a story that Nelson Mandela used to tell. He was asked once, “How did you learn to become a great leader?” What people don’t realize is that he was actually born the son of a tribal chief, and he said, “I went to tribal meetings with my father when I was a boy, and I remember two things: They always sat in a circle, and my father was always the last to speak.”
The above is from this great interview with Simon Sinek by Jordan Harbinger
The image above is from this article (which was referenced in the Sinek/Harbinger interview) It's title in part Conversation Is a Skill. I couldn't agree more.
A lot of my work with my clients is helping them to become remarkable at conversations, what begins them and whats flows from them because my great conclusion from my work is that
Enlightened Language elevates conversations,
Conversations enrich relationships,
Relationships enable business.
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