The Art of Listening, Part 1 Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Who wants to save the world?  One human interaction at a time? 

Ever run into one of these people? You strike up a conversation with them, either in person or electronically.  After about three minutes, or eight sentences of information you provide, the other person has somehow reached a conclusion about your story or situation and is querying or lecturing you further, set on solving the problem they have determined you must have by the limited information you’ve shared?

The “Save-E” becomes reactive, and continues to answer the “Save-or’s” questions,  which continues to feed their desire to show their brilliance, or the Save-E will just politely listen to their oration about how you “should” do this or “need to consider” that, lecturing them as though they are the ignorant new-bee student.  Thank goodness the Save-or has swooped in with all the answers.

In the end, the Save-or, may come to learn that as they were talking down to the Save-E like a three year old, that person was actually an expert in that field, trying to be polite and secretly hoping they’d go away, while the Save-or expressed their diarrhea of the mouth.  The Save-E, has likely been borderline tolerant, irritated, not wanting make a big deal, and depending on the circumstances around them both, may have experienced some public embarrassment by the entire interaction.

It’s most likely the Save-or truly has only the best intentions in mind with their interventions.  What they know is so important. They want to show you.  They believe they know better, and need to step in to save the day with their brilliance. So, if and when the Save-or is finally and perhaps abruptly put into their place, they are shocked, offended, and trudge off feeling rejected and unappreciated.  

Even if the Save-or is extremely knowledgeable and provides valid information about the subject matter in general, the fact that it was not specifically requested by or applicable to the Save-E, makes it a huge social and business no-no. 

So why does it seem to happen so much, in business, in personal life, in general? 

Stay tuned for the Art of Listening, Part 2, coming soon.

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