Listening as Investing

This is good advice for everyone, not just writers. Too often we're thinking about how the topic of conversation relates to us and how something similar happened to us, or how we know someone that something similar happened to. See a pattern? So easy to catch myself doing this.


Maybe we're inherently selfish creatures, but regardless, the temptation to see things in terms of our own experience is real. It's good to just shut those impulses off while someone is talking to us and really focus on paying attention to what they're saying and recognizing how it affects them, without offering up your own take on it or a similar experience. People don't really want to hear that. ⁠ ⁠


They want to know the other person is actually listening and not be met with "That's interesting. Here's how it relates to me." This is not conversation and it's certainly not listening. ⁠Ask questions with the intent of investing in the other person. You will learn more about people, and people are the subject of all stories.⁠


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