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A Good listener is better than a great presenter

Letters live.

I just moved to Auckland from Dunedin last weekend. Saying goodbye to friends and the city is hard, but changing the environment is an exhilarating experience for me.

Before my departure, I talked with a friend of mine who is a current MBA student. And she expressed the challenges of being in a group assignment and all the arguments they had. I can understand because I also argued a lot with my teammates when we had some disagreements.

People tend to struggle about why they always ended up in arguments and disagreements for a team project. However, the things is that we are different individuals, and we are supposed to be different in opinions and ideas. It would take years or decades to have the tacit agreement within a team. Being in the same team is very much like having a relationship, only it gets more complicated.

Nevertheless, with the current social environment, people are encouraged to shout out, expressing their ideas. But we overdo it by ignoring listening to each other.

Everyone wants to be a great presenter, so nobody wants to be a good listener. It is what I have observed in the past few years. Of course, arguments are good, and decisions are sometimes made from fierce debates, but only when people are listening.

The advice I gave to my friend is relatively straightforward:

Step 1: write down your ideas

Step 2: leave it and pretend it does not exist

Step 3: put your full attention to your teammates' ideas

Step 4: think, I mean think as it is your ideas

Step 5: Give your genuine comments

You can share your ideas afterwards, referring to the note you wrote at the beginning. I don't know if my teammates are going to do the same to me. But I believe it is all about practice and influence. Only one person is listening is better than nobody is listening. Plus, you would have no idea how much influence you could give by doing so.

Why Van Gogh cut his ear? We never know, we never listen to him

I also believe that only a minority of people are natural presenters, but most are born listeners. We only have one mouth, but we have two ears. God made us listeners.

It is pointless to be a great presenter if there are no listeners.


Book to read : "The Analects" ----- Confucius

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