“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold”
As the Dalai Lama XIV said “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”
This is true statement yet it is surprising how many people don’t do it.
They spend their time flexing their knowledge for the benefit of building their own ego…or to dent someone else’s.
Yet, you should only flex your knowledge like you flex your muscles… In a appropriate environment where it is called for. Flex your knowledge in the company of those who have asked for or are aware of it; a meeting, an interview, a catch up with a friend.
Apart from those occasions become the best listener and observer you can be…
“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.” Alfred Brendel
Be thirsty for knowledge for facts, stories, analogies, advice. Observe how a person acts, reacts, moves, speaks, what they say and what they do. This will result in learning.
A friend of mine once came to our family home and on arrival met my Father’s friend in the kitchen. Afterwards my friend said to me, “ your Father’s friend is very nice, he took a real interest in me. He asked me lots of questions about what I do, what my job entails, what I want to do next, where was I from.”
I had also observed this in my Father’s friend; he said little in conversations but gained a lot.
So my friend was surprised when I informed her he was one of the most successful men in the Country.
You are often led to believe the most successful person in the room is also the loudest. And although this can be true, I think you will also find truly successful people are actually the best listeners, Oprah Winfrey being the best example.
I know someone close to me who seriously damaged their career and wealth for the sole reason, they stopped listening.
They were very successful when they were young, a real rags to riches story. Yet with the success came ego and over time this stopped them doing the one thing that got them to the top…
They began to ignore other people’s advice on investments, decisions and relationships and it led to some damaging consequences. And it’s sad because they worked hard and if asked the reason for their misfortune they would say they had just been unlucky. And although luck, or lack of it, may have played a part, it wasn’t the main reason. But you can’t tell them that because they are not listening.
If you are not listening, you are not learning. If you are not learning you are not developing.
“It takes a great man to be a good listener.” Calvin Coolidge
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