Think you’re a good listener?

The purest form of listening,
is to listen without memory or desire.

– Wilfred Bion
Wilfred Bion (1897-1979), one of the great psychoanaytic thinkers of the past century, believed that when you are listening with memory, you’re trying to fit someone into one of your old agendas, and when you are listening with desire, you’re trying to fit them into a new agenda. In either case you are not listening to their agenda.

The most inexperienced and green people listen with an agenda, because they are trying to make certain they don’t forget any of the bullet points they are supposed to cover. Their lack of experience is usually transparent and even forgivable to a prospective or current client or customer who knows that they will go back to a more senior person to get answers to their most important questions.

Therefore…if you are competent, know what you are talking about and can field any question thrown at you by a client, customer or prospect, completely drop your agenda, listen to what they most want to accomplish, achieve, or prevent and help them do it. If there truly is a need for your product or service, it will naturally become apparent from the conversation you are having.

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