Today I have been thinking about this business skill. When I started my morning by weight lifting for some reason I was thinking about Listening. There was some reason but it was at 5am so it was too early to remember the why only that I was thinking about that.
Then later in the day about 8 am I was talking to a friend of mine in Hamburg Germany, Marc Martinez of Strategic Media (www.strategic-media.de). Marc provides consulting for Radio Stations among other creative ventures (I am a techy-accounting type with a bunch of creative friends, something to be figured out later). Marc moved to Germany after the Berlin Wall came down and Radio Stations were moving into private hands. He had by that time worked for many years in Radio in a number of big city markets. He has worked in many aspects of Radio and communications Media including various forms of advertising (which by the way is generally how Radio Stations make their money, it's not by playing music). Marc and I were talking about various business issues as well as personal issues since we have been friends for a long, long time (plus a few more years). We didn't specifically talk about listening but because it was kind of my theme for the day I was thinking about it while we were talking.
Marc and I talked about sales some. I would venture that like me he at least considers himself somewhat a salesman. We don't make our living purely as salesmen but we do have to sell our services to customers. Can you imagine selling anything without listening?
Ok so full disclosure -- whenever I write about something it is usually something I'm struggling with and trying to work out. I don't always listen. I LOVE to talk. I want people to listen to ME and think I am a brilliant guy. BUT, I am trying to learn how to become a better listener. I write this blog to be a better communicator but in my quest for communication excellence I realize the most important skill is listening.
I have ideas and I often thick they are brilliant ideas that would really enhance others lives. I truly believe that if they listened to me they may learn something or avoid the mistakes I have made... and that is precisely why I must be a better listener. I don't want to keep making such stupid mistakes. There have been times that I wish I had listened better. I have had some excellent advice while sitting at the beach with my wife's uncles. Many of them have much success in business. They got there the hard way, by working for it. They have learned a thing or two and yet when I was younger I didn't listen as much as I should have. I did listen to some of the ideas but not everything.
Ok, as I write I have many thoughts come to mind and could keep on giving all kinds of examples but if you are reading this I'm sure you get my point. I am going to try to remember the good advice I have received but...
Now I think I will shut up and listen for a while.