In my own experience, I have found that since I am learning to pay attention, I find myself more interested in other people. I say learning, because I probably will always be learning this lesson. Until I no longer have the problem of not listening, I will always be learning to pay attention. Some of my greatest lessons in life were learned “by accident” because I was paying attention.
I should point out here that I have a belief that there are no “accidents.” I believe that everything happens for a purpose. I mentioned earlier that one of the reasons we continue to experience the same problems over and over again is because we haven’t learned the lesson yet. Pay attention and learn the lesson the first time. Life will just keep on happening to you until you learn to pay attention and begin to happen to life.
Me? Talk too much?” We talk ourselves out of business. We talk ourselves out of relationships, both personal and professional. We talk so much we don’t notice that the other person stopped listening a long time ago. A winner listens.
We have all been around people who talk too much. Most of the time we have to wait until the other person’s mouth gets tired before we can get a word in. Do you continue to hang around these people? Not usually. I avoid them. If people are avoiding you, or you are not walking away from a customer with the information you need to make the sale, stop and survey the situation.
If this is happening to you when you are networking, time to change your behavior. There is no chance to build a meaningful relationship with anyone if you are the only one talking. Are you paying attention or talking too much? Do you really hear what people say when you listen?
It has been said that when people talk too much it is a sure sign of insecurity. The last thing you want to do if you are insecure is talk too much. Listen. You might learn something that will help you with your insecurities. We all know people who try to dazzle you with their brilliance and generally end up only blasting you with their bad breath. You are less likely to say something that demonstrates your ignorance when you are engaged in effective listening. A closed mouth gathers no foot!
There are times when we are so excited about the conversation that we forget common courtesy. We step on other people’s words. We want to let them know that we are on track so we interrupt whenever they take a breath. This is called “rude.” Nothing is more annoying than a person who, by demonstrating their impatience in this way, gives the appearance of not being interested in what you have to say.
It is not possible to pay attention and talk at the same time! It is also extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible for the person talking to stay on track. Slow down. You can tell them what you think when they are through talking. If you want to slow the conversation, keep stepping on other people’s words. You can then become known to your friends as “irritating.”
How can you possibly hear what the other person is saying if you are talking most of the time, or if you are thinking about what you are going to say next, while they are talking?
“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one, than to have opportunity and not be prepared.” ~ Whitney Young
If you monopolize the conversation, minds will wander. Remember to hold the conversational ball briefly. Then give it a toss and let someone else have an opportunity to play in the conversation. Remember, “Take turns?”
Shakespeare once said, “Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in few words.”
“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
My good friend and sales trainer Don Hutson says, “If you can say it with ‘Blah!’ don’t say ‘Blah, blah!'”
Listen more and talk less. You can’t learn anything when you’re talking.
Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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