Power Play: It takes a great man to be a great listener

These wise words belong to Calvin Coolidge, the 13th president of the United States.

It’s tough to shut up and listen. It’s even tougher to do it without being smug and judgmental. That’s why Power Players are big fans of the thing they call ‘active listening’. They listen closely, they are completely present when they listen and the person they are listening to feels that every single word is being absorbed.

Listening well is the most compassionate thing a Power Players can do. So few of us can listen well and listen without motive or agenda.

Last night I watched a Power Player work a party and all she did was listen. She asked every person she spoke to about their story and got them talking.

When she left the party there wasn’t a single person who really knew her story because she made it her business to engage the other person and to listen intently on whatever it was they wanted to share. Five hours of listening to people, and the funny thing is, her life is almost certainly the most interesting and exciting of anyone in the room.

Now that’s real power.

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