I like to talk. Often I like to talk a lot. I was reflecting on this as our Sunday running group sat outside last weekend where two friends were respectfully listening to a third.
To truly communicate, you need to build your listening skills far more than your speaking ones. Cultivating great listening skills by focusing on:
Twenty years ago, Starbucks started expanding north into Canada and Vancouver was one of the first cities to see a proliferation of Starbucks stores. At the time, I was looking for a coffee store where there was skim milk (non fat milk for my non-Canadian friends) on the counter. I was tired of coffee shops where I had to constantly ask for cold skim milk for my coffee. Fortunately, Starbucks included skim milk on the counter in every single one of their stores. For me, this was the key differentiator that made me a Starbucks customer for the last 20 years.
The last two weeks, skim milk has been disappearing from Vancouver Starbucks stores. Every time I get a Starbucks coffee, which is usually more than once every day, I have to ask for skim milk so that I can add it to my coffee. When I do, a four litre jug is retrieved from the back and put on top of the counter for me to open and pour into my coffee. Not only has Starbucks taken away the key differentiator that made me become a customer in the first place, they make the experience of getting what I want unpleasant.
Back around 1985, Bob Green and I invented host-based email. We were probably two of a few hundred people who came up with the idea of electronic email. At that time, many businesses had computers that employees were logging into every day and those computers were becoming powerful enough to host email applications.
Even after thirty-five years of business, I still get excited when I have the chance to meet someone in person that I’ve only met virtually before. In the old days, I would communicate by telex, fax, and telephone before meeting people for the first time. Today, it is often through this blog or Twitter than I interact with people.