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Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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listen

George Mulling George Mulling business developer. strategist. global seller.

George Mulling is a Managing Partner at CapGenic Advisors, a senior strategy firm. He has 25 years of experience in global sales leadership and is occasionally a good listener. [www.capgenic.com]

PostMULLING

Sometimes, to be heard, I need to stop talking. Listening well is as important as talking well – in life, in business, in any situation. I listen so that what I say will be meaningful.

Paying attention to what’s being said is crucial to understanding. Before I open my mouth to speak, it’s almost always better to have listened first. If we don’t hear those around us, or hear our own internal voice, we’ve lost before we even begin trying to communicate.

Have you ever seen two people trying to get the other to listen to what they have to say? The volume grows louder. They both take a step closer, trying to push their words forward. Rarely does this lead to a real exchange of ideas or opinions.

Sometimes it’s difficult to listen, especially when we already know exactly what we want to say. It’s even harder to consistently listen to the still, small voice inside – to God or our own experience – at the times when it’s important that our words be heard by everyone listening.

When I need to be heard in my life, I start by listening, by opening both my ears and my understanding. What’s the best way to listen? First, I close my mouth. I look at the person who’s talking and try to take in what they’re saying. I listen beyond their words to get a sense of what they’re feeling. Are they excited or mad or eager to lecture? Listening is harder if someone is yelling or if they happen to be wrong – but I don’t let that get in my way. I focus only on listening.

Once the person I’m having a conversation with has finished talking, I look at them closely. This gives me a chance to process their words. If I’m angry or frustrated, it gives me time to tone down my feelings so that when I do speak what I say is more likely to be heard. As I prepare to speak, I focus on what I want to convey and on saying it in a way the person I’m speaking with can hear. I listen again, if I need to, but once I’ve factored in their words and how they’re feeling, it’s time for me to speak.

When I speak, I always aim to speak from the heart, even if I’m having a business conversation. I watch people’s reactions and, if need be, make adjustments to what I’m saying and how I’m saying it. I feel what I’m saying and I listen to myself to make sure I’m getting it right.

And then I stop talking. And I listen.

– George Mulling

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