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Talk Less, Listen More

What happens when we talk?

We become the transmitter of information in a communication. But it’s not quite that simple.

When we talk, the receiver gets more than the content of the words. They hear our tone, see our body language, and record our demeanor.

They also understand a certain priority. It’s our turn to talk, and their turn to listen. This priority also signals a weight of importance between the transmitter and receiver.

But something else is happening, too. We’re not sophisticated enough to occupy both sides of the communication at the same time. That is, when we’re sending information, we’re not receiving any.

So it is therefore a maxim in conversations with potential clients that

We cannot learn about our potential clients while we’re talking.

We can prompt our potential clients with questions to teach us about their current situation, problems, and desires to improve their situation. We can illustrate the possibilities they can achieve with novel examples. We can reveal options which otherwise would be foreign to them.

But we can’t learn about their situation while we talk.

Therefore it must be that serving our client requires that we be good listeners more than good talkers.