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    • I guess in some respects I could/would say I am a sales guy. I have had a corporate sales career but in that medium you had to be a "closer" which I am not really into. In all my years of training and being mentored, the greatest asset/liability of a salesperson (and, maybe even just a human ~ dogs have this figured out) is the skill or discipline for active listening.

      GREAT salespeople mostly listen and guide the potential customer down a path where almost no sales are required. TERRIBLE salespeople won't shut up and love to hear the sound of their voices. I am sure we all know more of those than the former.

      The older I get, the more I really do try to listen - actively....from the store clerk, to friends and to customers. There are some real nuggets of gold out there if I pay attention.

      So, I was randomly chatting with a friend recently about the up's and down's of life and she said something to the effect of..........

      I heard that and was instantly inspired to create a graphic.

      On a scale of 1-10 with 10 maybe being the Dalai Lama, I would now consider my listening skills a strong 6.

      How about you?

    • This is hard for me because I am so interesting and knowledgeable, everyone wants to hear what I have to say. So many stories to tell, so little time. 😁

      I wish.

      I do have a problem with talking too much. One of the best things I ever heard about this is a mentor who told our sales team, "you have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that proportion."

      The other best thing is from another mentor who wrote this:

    • One of the best books about listening in business is Liz Wiseman's book Multipliers:

      I've had some painful personal experience with it. In a company I was in, they wanted to have complicated and expensive management training. I've been through a few of those and the retention is low in an intense class situation like that. And management fads come and go quickly.

      I spoke to someone at Apple, and they said the most effective thing for them has been reading Liz's book as a group over a period of time and talking about it.

      The bottom line is the best leaders tend to talk 15% of the time in group meetings, the least effective are way up there.

      Here's the painful part: Liz warns that the ones who talk most are often perceived to be the best leaders. The ones who listen and speak less are often considered to be weak managers. But if you measure by results, they're usually the top. Yet they get passed over for promotions.

    • Yes, perception is definitely not always reality. I try to consult many of my clients to act as a detective to see if the customer wants strawberry or chocolate ice cream. Most people just sell vanilla but how hard is it to just ask? ;)