Week 4— Listening to Everybody
My attitude is…
Every person on the planet has seen, done, or said something that I haven’t seen, done, or said.
Which means I can learn something by listening to every person on the planet.
And I do.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a kid, or the President, or a truck driver, or a homeless person.
I listen to everybody, because everybody has something to teach me.
Even someone who’s wrong about most things is still a great source of information.
WHY are they wrong? What made them that way?
They’re also gonna be right about some things.
And the stuff they are right about is usually some high-quality stuff. (helps them to survive being wrong so often)
But we don’t get any of that if we don’t LISTEN TO THEM.
It’s so easy to dismiss and ignore people, especially if they’re not impressive-looking or sounding, or if they act differently than us.
Or maybe something feels a little off?
“You know, I don’t like her TONE.”
“Who does he think he is?!”
There’s a million reasons not to listen to someone.
And sometimes we listen to things that have nothing to do with the words being spoke.
We listen to whether the speaker is male or female. Black or white. Young or old. We listen to how the speaker makes us feel. Are they attractive? How confident do they sound?
You know, a confident delivery really makes me feel like they know what they’re talking about!
We listen to their RESUMÉ. What are their “qualifications” to say this thing that I’m “listening” to?
Sometimes it seems like we’re listening to everything EXCEPT the words being spoke!
But, here’s the thing. The words don’t give a damn. About any of that. They don’t care about our preferences, or what we like to listen to.
The words don’t care who says them.
A lot of times, it’s the people who are listened to the least who have the most to say.
(and vice versa)
I think we associate great speaking with great ideas, and that’s not always the case.
Sometimes, great ideas are delivered awkwardly, with uncertainty and hesitation in the voice. And if we let that affect how we listen to someone, we’re gonna miss out.
Because having something to say, and saying something well, are two different things. Two different skills.
If anything, I get a little nervous if a speaker is too good.
We’re either preparing our case, or we’re presenting our case.
Where do we spend our time? Which one do we focus on?
In a perfect world, we’d get good at both.
But if we find ourselves being much better at one than the other… work on the other!
I completely ignored the importance of presentation. All I cared about was content — having the best product to sell or the best point to make.
But you know what? I ended up becoming a lousy salesman and a crappy speaker.
But when we’re listening… if we’re doing it effectively… it shouldn’t matter whether the speaker is good, bad, or horrific. Because we’re not listening to the speaker. We’re listening to the words.
And finally, remember, it’s real hard to listen to someone… when we’re talking.
A person who listens to himself or herself talk all the time has the power of ONE.
But a person who listens to everyone, has the power of MILLIONS.
— They say we decide what the world is about at age 22, and then spend the rest of our lives looking for things that confirm what we already believe, and disregarding things that conflict.
I hope they’re wrong.
— Nodding your head while thinking about what you’re going to say next does NOT qualify as listening.