The other day, I sat in a two hour meeting with a prospective client and didn’t say a single word the entire time.
This isn’t strange for me, and I think it should be common practice for many of us. I do this in almost every meeting I sit in, and there are two main reasons why.
People Love to Hear Themselves Talk
They say when on a date, in order to make the other person really like you, you should talk about them more than yourself.
I think this stands true in any conversation you have, especially in meetings.
When you listen, you are showing vulnerability and interest to the person on the other side of the conversation. Allowing the other person to tell their story without the concern of interruption or judgement opens up the door to what they’re actually thinking, not just what they want to say to you.
In my junior year of high school, I removed the words I, me, my, myself, or any word that brought the conversation to me. I forced myself to use the words you and your more than I or me, and the responses I got from a conversation drastically changed.
The person I was talking to felt like I was doing it for them, but really, it was for me to listen and learn.
Listening Allows Me to Learn
This is probably the bigger one for me, and it is a major reason I have been able to grow so quickly in my work.
I don’t just sit there on my phone, not talking, and not listening.
I use my silence as a tool to actually listen to each word someone is saying.
I am very self-aware in the areas that I don’t have knowledge in, and the ones that I need to learn more in. When a topic comes up, like politics, that I don’t know much about and don’t care about, I stay silent. However, when a topic comes up—like someone’s mindset practices or business idea—I will spend the majority of that time just listening to their side of things.
Knowing when to talk and when to listen has allowed me to grow and learn very quickly in the marketing industry, and even quicker with my personal relationships.
Next time you sit in a meeting, I encourage you to spend the majority of the time listening and thinking about what you may have missed hearing had you talked.