And this post was inspired by this “List of Nice Sounds“
I’m on a conference call.
A long conference call.
The discussion is stretching and swirling in a loop.
I can feel my patience growing thin.
Is this normal brainstorming?
Or part of the creative process?
Or is this a complete mess?
Or is my lack of sleep clouding my judgment?
My mind drifts.
I call up one of my favorite management books: QBQ by John Miller.
John would suggest that I ask the Question Behind the Question?
Why am I amped up?
What have I done to contribute to the rudderless direction of this call?
I think about that for a moment.
Nah, can’t be me. Of course not.
I let the debate go on. I listen in silently hoping the solve is coming.
I turn to gnawing on a finger nail.
Aren’t you too old to be biting your finger nails? Disgusting habit. [Read more...]
- “Take this simple test: After your next long conversation with someone, estimate what percentage of it you spent talking. Be honest. No, you’re already underestimating. How do I know? Because it’s more fun to talk than to listen. Add another 20% to your total. If you talked more than 70% of the time, you jabber too much.”
- “An optimal conversation flow has each person talking about 50% of the time. This is the Ali-Frazier of good give-and-take.”
- “But, you say, what if your talking partner is just quiet and loves to listen? Stop it. She doesn’t. Listening is like reading a corporate report. Talking is like eating a cinnamon bun.”
- So how do you achieve this 50-50 conversational ideal? Easy: ask questions. But don’t think that one “How are you?” is going to turn you into Oprah. Actually listen to what the other person is saying, and find openings.”
- “But if you’re talking about someone whom your conversation partner doesn’t know, especially a mother, keep it short—one minute tops, unless it’s a truly fantastic story.”
- “I can hear you complaining already: “One minute? But I need to include all the details.” No you don’t…Your job is to quickly entertain and inform, and then to ask good questions…”
- “Also, let your chattering breathe a little. One dastardly arrow in the big talker’s quiver is to slow down in the middle of his sentence, then to blow through the period so that there’s no opening for anyone to squeeze a word in.”
- “Another essential rule is to monitor your audience. Is the guy you’re talking to glancing at his cellphone, spinning his Dorito like a paper football or making his tie into a noose? If so, pull the ripcord and ask him if Heineken is his favorite beer, since you’ve just seen him drain five of them. Watch how relieved he is to have a turn to talk!”
~ Rob Lazebnik, a writer on “The Simpson’s. See full article @ wsj.com: It’s True: You Talk Too Much
I have a few ’acquaintances’ that could benefit from these tips.
Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.
If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.
This meeting was no different than any other. No different from the hundreds of meetings in the days, the months before. Where I’m on to the next meeting while attending the one in front of me. Meetings with a replicated loop. Mind whirring…processing. Me pushing. Me prodding. Agitating. Me wanting and needing more. Extraction. Creating discomfort. Manufacturing urgency. I’m not looking for you to love me. That’s what your dog is for. This morning, my level of consciousness had been ratcheted up by a few lines from Daniel Bor the night before. And, I roll into the first meeting of the day. I’m listening. I’m watching.
You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
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