There’s a quote that I hear often. My dad use to say it to me. I’ve had bosses say it to me. And for the longest time, I ignored it. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around what it meant… and then I became a freelancer…
“When you talk you’re only repeating what you already know. When you listen, you might just learn something new.”
I know right? How that never sunk in, I can’t tell you, but I remember the day it did.
I was sitting down with a client and I was rambling on and on about all the good things I could do: all the training and skills I had, all my experience, etc.. My head was huge! And I just kept talking and talking, digging that hole deeper and deeper. (How embarrassing looking back now!) Finally I realized how long I’d been talking, and I also noticed that he hadn’t said a word. It got really awkward, really fast! I closed my mouth, the guy smiled and said, “OK, now I’d like to tell you what I had in mind.”
I felt about 2 inches tall. I could have crawled through the keyhole. But it was a lesson I needed to learn. Stop talking and just listen!!
It’s amazing how much we can learn from others. It doesn’t matter if they’re our clients, our friends, our employers or even our kids. Everybody has a different view on life. They’ve learned something along the way that can benefit you if you can just keep your mouth closed long enough to listen.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Start/Join in a conversation.