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Develop These Two Character Traits to Become a Person Who Will Always Be Remembered

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If you’d like to learn how to develop exceptional traits so you can be a person everyone wants to be around, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Having a decent conversation with another person is becoming increasingly difficult. It’s much easier to talk and to express one’s opinion more than ever, but it’s now far harder to converse. We need not look beyond our political climate to know this. It’s not so much that we can’t talk about politics, because everyone is more than happy to share their opinion. It’s rather that we can’t converse since we don’t tend to listen.

In her book, You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters, journalist Kate Murphy recounts the story of a bi-partisan conversation. In this meeting, the moderator attempted to facilitate conversation by the use of a talking stick. What ended up happening? Someone threw the stick at someone else.

The worst thing about this is probably not that it happened, but that we’re all not that surprised that it did. 

To Sell is Human

In his book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink posits that the majority of Westerners spend the majority of their time at work and in life, in sales. It may not be convincing someone to buy a car or a photocopier, but in some way, most of us are trying to convince somebody to do something. We are constantly trying to convince our children, partners, clients, and colleagues.

Right now, I am trying to sell you on the idea that listening is one of the greatest and most necessary skills for true success. Why? Because great salespeople, and therefore great people, listen.

Take for example the classic story of the origin of the Betty Crocker cake mix. All one needed to bake a cake was to add water to the mix and throw it in the oven. You would think it’d sell like hotcakes, but it didn’t.

As it turns out, people felt guilty about using it. It was too easy. So General Mills listened, took that information, and required the mix to need real eggs. What happened? Sales soared.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

How can we become better listeners?

Why is selling and listening so hard today? Because we are slowly (or rather rapidly), losing two qualities: Confidence and Curiosity.

1. Confidence

In her book, Murphy suggests that insecure people can’t or don’t like to listen. She writes, “Confident people don’t get riled by opinions different from their own, nor do they spew bile online by way of refutation. Secure people don’t decide others are irredeemably stupid or malicious without knowing who they are as individuals.”

But isn’t that what most people do? If we’re being honest, isn’t that what we do? Isn’t the reason why we can’t talk about politics or religion because we aren’t confident and secure in our own beliefs and self? Or maybe we are afraid that the person we are talking to will throw a talking stick at our head.

In their book, The Coddling of the American Mind, Lukianoff and Haidt, recount story after story of college students associating challenged beliefs to physical harm. More and more, young people are associating if not equating having their beliefs challenged to being physically harmed. Consequently, students have reacted in physical violence towards people/groups that have peacefully met because they did not like what they heard.

According to a nationwide survey of college and university students conducted by the Brookings Institution, “More than half, 51 percent, thought it was “acceptable” to shout down a speaker with whom they disagreed and almost a fifth, 19 percent, supported using violence to prevent a speaker from delivering an address.” 

2. Curiosity

Have you ever thought, “how can people ignore science? the facts? the evidence?” We have all been there. Trying to convince somebody of something, providing all the facts, research, and logic, and yet the person will not even consider our opinion.

Dan M. Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, suggests it is because they do not possess or have lost their scientific curiosity. People simply do not want or even care to know what the “other” person thinks or another possibility.

This shouldn’t be a surprise in our hyper-individualized society where we are told to trust our gut and ourselves. When “your truth is yours and my truth is mine,” becomes the dominant script, it reinforces the view that other people’s opinions and views are not important nor informed.

President Donald Trump famously said, “My primary consultant is myself.” If we were honest, how many of us would say the same thing?

To become a good listener and therefore a good salesperson, or simply a good person, we must possess curiosity. We must develop an attitude and posture that genuinely seeks to understand something or someone, that we can’t initially.

“Being a good listener is absolutely critical to being a good leader; you have to listen to the people who are on the front line.” – Richard Branson

Hand in Hand

What is so fascinating in our “believe in yourself,” “trust your gut,” “your truth is your truth” world, is that people are becoming less confident and less curious. None of us get defensive or violent when a child gives their opinion or challenges our own beliefs. But when an adult does, we may find ourselves in a panicky rage.

If you’re aware of the concept of an echo chamber— people are more and more ignoring what they already do not believe and believing more deeply what they already do. Their news feed, Facebook feed, and other social media feeds, purposefully feed information that they like (which is often what they agree with), increasing the narrative they already possess.

Although we are politically still 50/50, it is vastly different than it was 25 years ago. As late as the 90s, republicans and democrats were able to make decisions together for the greater good. Apparently, Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill and Republican President Ronald Reagan would have drinks together after work at the White House. After one particular polarized fight, O’Neil said to Reagan, “Reagan, “Old buddy, that’s politics—after six o’clock, we can be friends.” 

We think we have become more enlightened but science, research, and evidence would suggest otherwise. The vast majority of us are becoming less confident and curious, and more insecure and arrogant. We are becoming poor listeners, and therefore poor salespeople and ultimately poor leaders and people.

If any of us want to become truly great and successful people that are worth listening to, then we better learn how to listen. We all have to work with people and we are all selling ideas, so we better learn how to listen and become both confident in our beliefs and genuinely curious about others.

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful person? Share your thoughts below!

Ryan Lui is a high-performance coach who helps business leaders raise their performance so they can reach their goals. He understands that worthy goals require work and a high-performing person. Therefore, he helps people increase their focus, move forward, and go faster towards fulfilling their great and good goals. Ryan resides in the beautiful Pacific NorthWest. He loves black coffee in the morning, riding his bike through the city, and talking to people about their personality type. Connect with him at ryanlui.com.

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Success Advice

20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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Success Advice

Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way

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You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way and perhaps that has created a divisive and adversarial working environment that makes it difficult for you to influence and inspire your team in a way that meets your vision. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Think Like a CEO for Your Future Success

A blueprint for CEOs to draw a disciplined strategy

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Strategic thinking helps CEOs build successful businesses. It helps them establish everlasting enterprises. It is one of the key elements of decision-making. It is different from strategic leadership. It differentiates between leaders from managers.  (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Focus Your Mind on Your Goals in 2023 Constructively

In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds

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In this world of distractions due to information overload, it has become a big challenge to focus our minds on positive aspects and constructive activities. Sometimes we waste our precious time mentally and physically due to distractions arising out of technology. We must understand our priorities and learn how to focus on them religiously. (more…)

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