“Presidents reflect. They don’t shoot from the lip. They think, consider, ponder, observe, probe, and listen. They stop and observe. They stop before saying the wrong thing. They stop before making a snap decision. They stop before sending the barbed letter. And they watch and listen some more.
To become a president you must master the art of and ability to stop, look, and listen. Listening is very difficult, especially for aggressive, energetic, bright people. You must train yourself to always be on “high receive.” You have to hear the unsaid, just as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes heard the dog that didn’t bark. You have to listen to what the eyes, hands, and frowns are saying. You have to listen to customers, suppliers, supervisors, colleagues, noncustomers, company salespeople, competitors, everybody.
Listening can be learned. It can be practiced. When someone is speaking, stop what you are doing, look at the person, and listen. Good listeners are considered great conversationalists. Listening is equated with wisdom and intelligence.
Listen, listen, listen!”