“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway
Listening is a challenge. I’ve made my living as a communicator for many years, and yet, like most people, I often catch myself forming an opinion, jumping to a conclusion, or formulating my next question before the person I am speaking with is done. So I work hard at stilling my mind, so that every moment becomes an opportunity for education, enabling me to change my mind – as Malcolm Forbes would say – from empty to open.
Listening is incredibly important when a client speaks, and everyone around me is a client. I need to hear everything my client has to say, before I can properly winnow the chaff from the grains that will provide the substance for the dish that delivers the color and flavor of my client’s message.
Listening is central to my craft as a communicator. It enables me to develop communications strategy, write documents that are relevant to my target audiences, build relationships that connect people and bridge minds. If I actively listen to my client, I am rewarded with understanding and eloquence.
“Grasp the subject. The words will follow.” Cato the Elder