Spence: The Power of Listening

We are moving in the next chapter of Gerry Spence’s book “How to Argue and Win Every Time”. We have just discussed the power of credibility. Now we turn to a much neglected skill set: listening.

Have you noticed how, during a heated argument, folks stop listening to what is being said. They hear only what they are listening for — the thing they want to rebut. No wonder these arguments rarely resolve anything.

To listen well, we need to listen to what is being said (not just the words, but what is behind them) and what is not being said. There is usually pain behind the rage. You are listening for that pain. One reason is that pain and anger are transferable. The attacker may be responding to something that happened elsewhere.

You need a skill to do this. It is “Ver Ilegar” – the calm a matador feels sa the enraged bull charges. The matador must watch  in order to see how to maneuver. You are using your deep “soul’s ear” and listening for the music behind the words. We are also listening with our eyes – watching body language.

Next is the power of prejudice. Stay tuned!


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