There Is No Shortcut

There Is No Shortcut

Monday, February 27, 2012

Shut Up and Listen

Nobody has ever learned anything new when they were talking. You may talk to yourself to dig out an idea from your head, but you can hardly learn when you are talking constantly in a conversation.

Recently, I was giving critical information to someone concerning their specific case. That person simply would not let me place a word. He (for simplicity here) kept babbling away saying stuff about himself, his needs, his feelings. I tried to help him, but it backfired on him. I just wound up listening to his rant. After I tried to warn that particular talker, something happen to him. He could have been much better equipped to face this situation, if he had paid attention. But for most of us, talking and listening at the same time is a horrible exercise for our brain. It just cannot be done.

Active listening is an interesting technique. I am not going to lie, I read about it in the most famous “self-help” book – How To Make Friends and Influence People. This book is a practical little guide to remind yourself on how to positively influence, win people, and how to get people to play for you. If you are as curious as me, I tend to never interrupt my interlocutor, and will explain to you why.

In North America, most people are not very comfortable with silence. They tend to cover silence with more talking. Since they tend to cover, their focus is not on simply conveying information, but to fill the gaps, and that is exactly when the crucial information slips out. That is where the gold is; in that brief moment that he/she should have kept that awkward silence.

You can probably recall these moments when you should have kept things quiet. Do not worry; it happens to everyone, especially under pressure.
Next time you are interviewing a candidate, or you have a date, follow these very interesting instructions . You will be surprise of the wealth of information you get from it. Or, be bored to tears. In this case, get out.

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