Have you heard the advice to listen more and speak less? How about that the better listener you are, the more you’ll understand your audience’s point of view? I’ve heard this advice many time over, and while I wholeheartedly believe it, I hadn’t experienced it firsthand. That is, until this week. Everything just started to click. Let me share my story with you.
Growing up, I was a quiet kid. Sure, I loved to laugh and have fun, but when it came to school or and environment where I needed to listen to one person, I excelled. In fact, I was so quiet, a few of my teachers questioned if I was really understanding the lessons they were teaching. I definitely was taking in the lessons – being quiet is often how I process the information I am receiving.
Always having felt like I have been a great listener, when I first heard the advice to listen more and speak less – I felt like there were speaking directly to me! However, I didn’t fully understand what that adivce truly meant until this past weekend.
Here are 3 recent interactions where listening creates opportunities.
Opportunity Strikes via Communities
It started a couple weeks ago. I had stumbled upon a daily inspirational podcast and listened to a couple episodes. It was refreshing to hear Ashley’s unrefined, raw take on podcasting. Ashley speaks her mind, is completely upfront, and is inspiring all the same. She has been podcasting daily for over 250 days!
When I found out she was based in Chicago, I reached out via Twitter and struck up a conversation. I love meeting fellow entrepreneurs doing big things, especially locally here in Chicago. If that is you, get in touch! A week or two later, I joined her Rebel Crew Facebook community and began adding to the conversation.
It was within this closed community, I came across an opportunity for writing. I jumped on it and within minutes I was connected to a whole new community of entrepreneurs doing big things around the world who have all come together to collaborate on an exciting new project. And now I am a part of that project!
Opportunity Strikes via Masterminds
In another group that I am a part of, I participated in a sort of brain trust or mastermind. It was a small group of us from all over the United States that came together and share our experiences participating in and holding webinars. Just from this 60-minute conversation, I was able to really connect with everyone and learn how I could add value.
Afterwards, I reached out to the person who organized the meeting to thank them for setting it up. I offered to chat further with them about brand strategy and brand experiences. This turned into an opportunity to partner with them on an upcoming webinar to teach their community.
By listening to the conversation, I was able to see where I could add value to the discussion and provide even more value to the their entire community.
Opportunity Stikes via Conversations
As I’ve written about a few times this year, I am a big believer in Shapr, the professional networking app. It was through a conversation over lunch that I was introduced to someone that helps brands manage their social media. I reached out to them and we set up a time to meet. After talking with them for just an hour or so, we realized many synergies and they then told me about a social business club here in Chicago.
Turns out joining the business club has been one of the best ways to connect with other amazing entrepreneurs doing big things around the city and world!
Final Thoughts on How Listening Creates Opportunities
Listening and being open to opportunities has been a tremendous way to grow my network, collaborate and meet new friends, and grow my business. Above all, it has allowed me to give more value to others. And that makes me feel great.
How has listening helped you to see opportunities? Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter and let me know!
Also published on Medium.