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Chris Witt

On my website I wrote that listening is 80% of effective communications. An academician liked what I wrote and asked for the source of that statistic. Sadly, I had to admit I made it up. (If I had wanted it to sound like an actual statistic, I would have said 78.2%...) The point I was trying to make is the one you're making. Listening is important. For leaders. For speakers. For influencers.

I work with teams of engineers and scientists who are making oral proposals for large -- multi-million dollar -- contracts. The teams want to start their presentations as they typcially do: talking about their company, their capabilities, and their experience. (Me, me, me -- or in this case, us, us, us.) I get them to begin by detailing their understanding of the customer's situation, the problems they're experiencing, what they're looking and hoping for. (You, you, you.) Sometimes that means they have to go back to the customer, ask more questions, and listen some more. When the customer feels understood, they're much more willing to listen to the team talk about their solution.

Best wishes for your father's well-being.

personal development guru

I guess that's why we have two ears but only one mouth; to listen twice as much as we talk.
thanks for the post

Steve Roesler


Thanks for the in-depth comment and the good wishes. I apologize for the delayed response; have been shuttling dad to appointments and now treatment.

Your example is much too common, eh? For years, companies seemed to feel the need to start off selling instead of understanding, whether in a one-on-one situation or a presentation as you've described.

Your clients are well served to heed your advice.

I hope they're heeding!

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