These methods have helped me enormously—and can save you much heartache and anxiety
Great essay! I would add one thing to great listener and that is the skill of being able to draw people out with intelligent questions. This helps you be a listener and grows out of an important but rare quality: genuine interest in other people. I've witnessed it in some great journalists and in some people who were just great conversationalists.
First rate yet again Ted. You reminded of something Fred Eaglesmith said at a solo concert a decade ago: “Integrity is what you’ve got when nobody’s looking.”
Great advice. I have a suggestion, too, although I'm not in charge here. :). One of my techniques as a hiring manager was to get the interviewee to drive when we went to lunch. You can tell a lot about a person by watching how they drive a car.
When two good listeners get together and converse there are usually very few quiet moments.
One subject leads onto another as each listener responds to the other.
I’ve learned all eight of these metrics the hard way. And I played in a rock band with a serial killer in high school.
Excellent advice, and the essay includes one of my favorite (and oft-used words): agita. The cleaning person who stands outside the ER room with her/his cart gets the same amount of respect from me as the Doctor does. So does the guard who screens people, and puts up with SO much hostility. He has probably saved my life. The great George Mraz had some interesting things to say about accommodating mistakes when I interviewed him years ago. Bravo, Ted.
Long ago and far away, I attended a sales seminar where the consultant introduced his wife and said, "See what kind of taste I have?" An attendee immediately shot back, "Yes, but what kind of taste does SHE have?"
I'm thinking you probably already know this, but #5 is what Jung called our "shadow" figure - exactly as you say, stuff in ourselves we don't like (repress/suppress) we see clearly in others. And it seems never to end! I'm in my 70's and am still catching myself doing it and as you say, it's "sometimes painful". Have used #2 all my life, and am amazed people can't see what a horrible impression they make when they do it. It's the total lack of insight as well as the nasty behavior that registers.
If I am to be judged by my lovely wife of 23 years, I will be highly overrated ❤️😀
Like you, Ted, I have paid dearly for being naive enough to trust people at their word. I have learned to assess people in many of the ways that you have. The one that stood out to me is "how people spend their time and money". I've always loathed people who lack generosity (of spirit or money. I've always been wary of the charmer, the social profligate who is overly familiar on first meeting, but I've never connected financial profligacy with deeper character flaws. I'll be on the lookout now.
Great advice. The partner thing is gold.
Well I'm still a work in progress after all these years. I know I fail some of these at times , even so.
One of the greatest listeners of all time was Johnny Carson.
I have tried to follow his example, and many times people will say that I am a good listener.
Great stuff Ted! Thanks!
This article may be a bit of a modulation from the HB key, but these insights are helpful to me as a business owner. Like your CEO friend, I interview people from the gut. My former business partner insisted on using numbered rubrics that assessed skills. On average my hires stayed three times longer in the company and performed much better, generally. I agree it's very important to know a person's character.
One of the best experiences I ever had was becoming an Eagle Scout. Even though it happened when I was in junior high school, I do think it molded me indelibly, more than many other experiences I had later as an adult. Because that experience continues to inform my character and decision making, anecdotally I'm inclined to believe your claim--which I've heard elsewhere from psychologists--that we are unlikely to change much after settling into our adult lives.
There's some biological science to back this up, and I've heard that practicing an instrument (or learning a new one) can lead to changes in the brain. I wonder if learning a new instrument, or learning to improvise in a group setting might also improve character? Maybe all adults should "learn to play with others."
Hey Ted! I took the liberty of translating your text to portuguese, so people in Brazil (and all portuguese speaker nation) can read it!
Of course I was careful to credit the hell out of you! There are links to some other posts as well, so people can get to know you here!
But, if by any means you feel that this is a violation of your work, I will delete my post immediately.
Anyway, thanks again!
Great article. I'll share one thing a dear mentor told me a long time ago. He said that if I could not recognize when I was lying to myself, I would never be able to recognize when someone else was lying to me. That was the beginning of my practicing frank self honesty. And it was true. In seeing the ways I lied to myself, I became aware of how people were lying to themselves to me as well.