Are You Listening?

The big news in the NFL earlier this year was the best player in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, was injured and will be out at least eight weeks. I was listening to a press conference as his coach described how they weren’t going to go after a veteran quarterback to replace him, how he had two and three years invested in the quarterbacks on the roster, and felt comfortable moving forward with them.

Then a reporter asked him if he would try to sign Colin Kaepernick. The room took a sudden chill as the coach glared at the reporter and said, “Didn’t you just hear my answer to the previous question….?”

A brilliant example of when people are so busy thinking of what they’re going to say they don’t listen to whomever they’re speaking with. At a recent conference, we discussed building a relationship, as soon as possible, when you meet someone. And a great way to do this is to listen and ask intelligent questions related to what the other person says.

A great illustration of this is when, after a 15-minute conversation where the other person talks for over 13 minutes, they tell you how you really understand their situation or their business. It’s why I tell business buyers and sellers they have to get to know, and like, the person on the other side of the transaction. And you start the process by listening.

“Silence is the ultimate weapon of power.” Charles de Gaulle

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