Do Twice as Much Listening Than Talking

Recently, I was on a bus from Boston’s South Station to Logan Airport. On the other side of the aisle was a man heading to Geneva via Charlotte and London. It was an unfortunate path given the fact that he would have to go right over Boston to get to London but it is what it is. He was in a cast. He was in the military. Military was a great option over college because of the options it gives you. He’d gone “underground” for a few years. He couldn’t talk about that. He broke his leg in two places after slipping on some ice. He was happy to talk about that. He was getting off of the bus soon. He didn’t need any help.

There’s more. Much more. But I will spare you.

The ride from South Station to Logan is approximately 12 minutes. In that time, I heard this man utter a lot sentences that begin with the word/letter, “I.” So many, in fact, that he really should have been on Sesame Street instead of the Silver Line train. He would be a perfect guest when the lesson of the day was proper use of self-serving conversation (or boring those around you, if they ever get around to teaching that). The only guest who would have been better would be Ricky Ricardo, who famously uttered, “I, yi. yi!” to Lucy when she had some ‘spainin’ to do. That would have made for a great puppet character, too (though the all-time best was Ross Perot…and don’t challenge me on this one!).

“I.” How often are we in conversation that involves someone droning on and on about themselves: I this and I that and I think and I feel I want and I am and I know and I hate and I, I, I….

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Melissa Sienicki

    Great advice as always, Bill! And I think you should do an entire blog post about your dad’s fortune cookie advice :)

  • impchandler

    My guess is that the guy on the bus has no idea he is thought of in this way. I think self-awareness is the biggest challenge people have to overcome when it comes to being a better listener.