Be like water. Prepare to take whatever shape you need and become what you need to become.
What does this mean?
If you’re relaxed, “empty,” and silent, you’re in the best position to feel and sense others’ needs and wants. You’ll be prepared for anything, without being blocked by your own thoughts and senses (that’s the emptiness part). To be a good listener, you need to be like water, taking on whatever shape you need and become what you need to become to engage. Let the other person define the “container” you’re going to fill.
How does this work?
If you’re on a sales call with a prospect, you’ll certainly do your research and bring questions to the conversation. You’re prepared, but you don’t know why your service or your product might be needed. That’s the information you need to close the sale. Listen for a hint of dissatisfaction from your prospect about their current situation—that leads to an opening for you to begin a productive dialogue. From there, flow into the prospects needs with your superior offerings. Once you fill the prospect’s needs container, you’ll have a much better chance of success.
How to apply?
The water approach works in many realms of life, not just business. It all comes down to this: start empty, let the other person define the flask you’ll fill. Wait for the opening, then begin the dialogue. Water may be gentle in nature, but it can cut through mountains and define a whole new landscape.
Be like water.
Cash Nickerson @cashnickerson #listeningasamartialart
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