Man, shut the f%ck up!

That’s why you have two ears and one mouth

One of my mentors reminded me recently.  The art of listening.  Something we all know about, but many of us do not practice.  In the next few weeks months, I am going to be interviewing successful entrepreneurs about how they got to where they are.  I am sure many of them will say, they shut up and listened.

I go to a lot of workshops and attend my fair share of meetings, either online or in person.  One thing that has always bugged me was that there is one person that wouldn’t shut the hell up!  This bothered me for a number of reasons.  First, because I really don’t like meetings and I am ready to get out of there and go on with my life.  Second, because usually the person who is doing the most talking, is doing the least listening.  And after they have spoken, they have still said very little.  I’ve seen it over and over again, it’s like a science experiment and the results turn out the same every single time.

There is this one person (sometimes more) who has something to say, an opinion about EVERYTHING.  And the meeting drags on and on.  Some people may ask what’s wrong with this.  If you have something to say, you should speak up, right?   Absolutely! That’s if you REALLY have something to say.  What I find is that in most meetings, it is a meeting of the Egos – not of the minds.

Many times, someone has something to prove.  Perhaps they want to show the boss or the professor that they are interested by asking questions or giving opinions in hopes of impressing them.  I understand that.  But at the end of the day, has what you said really contributed to the conversation?  Or was it just fluff?  Can you recall anything, anybody else said where you weren’t listening with an agenda?

The art of listening is one of the most valuable skills anybody can have.  You can clearly see where your colleagues, friends,  and family are coming from.  And often times, they will grant you same by truly listening to you.

As a matter of fact, one of the main skills in selling is to do way more listening than you do talking.  On the contrary, if you all you do talk, talk, talk without giving anybody else a chance to speak (or they have to virtually shout just to get you to shut up), you risk alienating yourself.  People won’t trust you.  And won’t want to do business with you.  And that can truly affect your business and your personal life (because usually if you don’t listen at work, you don’t listen at home).

So the next time you are in a meeting or class, pay attention to how much you are listening.  Check to see the reason you are really asking a question, do you really need or would like to know the information, or are you just trying to make sure you have something to say in the name of talking and ego?  Or to be more blunt, as one of my favorite rappers, Ludacris, put it:

Man, shut the f%ck up!

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One Response

  1. I have been in that situtation to many times. Not really in meetings but in class at school. Why do they asks questions and then dont know what they be talking about in the first place? Yes, a person can ask a question but if you see others trying to move on with the class, even the teacher, why you just dont wait till the end and ask more questions? People do have lives in the real world.

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