Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

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.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]

 
Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]

 
Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

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

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

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]

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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