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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You Should Have Listened To ME!

Do you ever feel this way? Like, if everyone would just LISTEN to you, the world would be a better place. The subject could be politics, religion, family matters, or how to run a business. I do sympathize with you and know that indeed it is exhausting to always have the answers but not the power of persuasion. You might like one of George Carlin’s quotes:

“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”

Let me make a suggestion that might help you out. I’ll start by admitting that I don’t really have all the answers. Actually, I’ve realized that the more I learn, the more I think I need to learn.
George Carlin’s quote seems just perfect for many situations. But every now and then, try something new. Consider Stephen Covey’s famous quote:

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

One of the keys to communication, including persuasion, is to LISTEN. Often, there is not one best answer. I know it often seems like there is only one answer, but this mindset shuts down communication., and that won’t help you much at all. What seems “right” depends on your perspective, assumptions, experiences, skills, personality, family background etc. etc. You already know what YOU think. Trying being quieter and asking questions. Listen, really listen, rather than search for weaknesses in their argument. Instead, let your goal be to understand. The understanding and information you gather will help you formulate your own comments that will greatly increase your power of persuasion. If you truly practice the art of active listening, you might even alter your opinion on the topic. Maybe not! But, it’s a possibility. You will also have made the other person feel heard and hopefully understood, which makes them more open to listen to YOU.
Remember also that famous saying:

Wise men (and women) are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

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