Stillness and Listening

Listening Preparing to speak at BlogWorld Expo with Jeremiah Owyang on the 9th, and part of my contribution is the slide deck. If you’ve seen my presentation style, it’s usually big images, brief text, and a lot of talking. Jeremiah is more of a detail guy. Read ANY of his posts, and you’ll see all the effort he puts into his work. I am deeply respectful of Jeremiah’s blog posts, and know why Forrester hired him.

So here I am.


Airplane rides can be a chance to find stillness. It depends on your passenger neighbors, and what you choose to do, but they can be a chance to find stillness. And that’s where I found some of my thread for the presentation.

Stillness means NOT hurrying, not reading the web for a moment, not checking your email, and NOT thinking of what to say next.

There, friends, is the nugget. Not thinking of what to say next. Look inward a moment. Do YOU do that? Are you ready with a response all the time? Do you want to answer quickly so people will know you’re smart? Clever? Present?

Stillness Means Centering

Not focusing, mind you, but just stopping, taking a breath, and being aware of where you are, where you think you’re going, what you think matters to you, and how you’re doing with all that. That’s what I mean by centering. Looking out. Looking in. Looking around, and LISTENING to your heart and mind in equal measure.


Let me say what matters most in this post:

It is absolutely impossible to have a conversation without listening.

Try it some time. You can talk to people. You can talk at people. But you can’t have a conversation without listening, and further, hearing.

But I’d venture that you need inner stillness before you’re ready to listen.

Some Takeaways

In case this was too touchy feely, let me give you some things to consider:

  • By being still inside, you’ll better understand what matters to you, where you’re going next, and how you can be helpful.

  • By being still, you’ll be ready to listen to others.
  • By listening to others, you’ll have better conversations.
  • Conversations build relationships, business, friendship, and all kinds of other things that matter to you.

In short, you could do a lot for your business (or relationships or whatever matters to you), by thinking a bit today about stillness and listening.

What do you think?

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