This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

A colleague and his wife were invited to an important company affair, a dinner party. His wife was seated next to one of the key people at the dinner. She later said to her husband: “What a bore! I didn’t say two words all night; all he did was talk about himself.”

The next day the colleague ran into the bore, who told him: “Your wife is an absolutely fascinating woman.”

Ah, the power of listening.1

Are you bored? Or fascinating?

1 As told by Charles H. Green in The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust

Bonus: Making it Real

This week, make it a point to be fascinating. How?

Bring to mind an upcoming opportunity to listen to one or more people. (The more likely you are to be bored, the better.)

Describe the opportunity briefly, and then think about:

  • What questions might you might ask to gather facts?
  • What questions might you ask to understand the feelings behind the facts?
  • What might you say or do to convey that you are listening?

Then, note what you learned from this reflection, and later from the conversation.

Learn More

Read more about the listening as a key to influence in Chapter 3 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust.

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Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).