I read somewhere that Stephen King, who has to be considered one of the most prolific authors in history, wrote something ever day. Christmas, New Year’s…and yes, even Thanksgiving. He would sit down in front of his computer and write, regardless of the circumstances in the outside world.
In attempting replicate this habit and ingrain it for myself, I am writing today. (Yes, in fact, I wrote this on Thanksgiving morning).
Having a quiet meal at a resort on Maui this morning, for some reason I began to think about the differences in people and how they interpret and communicate information. Some people are “straight line” communicators – they want to know only the relevant details and need to get to the point. Extraneous context is a waste of time for these folks and many times, becomes an irritant.
Then there are the “story-tellers” – no detail is too small and the amount of context they need and/or provide is vast. The feeling here is that you can never get the full point of the story if you don’t know everything involved.
I have not researched this nor am I an expert, but I would assume that most people fall somewhere in the middle of these two categories, with a habitual lean to one side or the other. So I began to wonder…what is the best way to quickly identify which style is most apparent for those you are communicating with? And wouldn’t it make sense, once you know which way someone “leans”, to adapt ourselves to that style?
Then it hit me – there is one and only tried and true method of identifying style: listening.
The true art of listening has been lost for most of us – the noise in today’s world makes it very difficult to focus. But I would submit that we can get better and by getting better, communicate more freely and build stronger relationships personally and in business.
Listen and adapt – simple, but not easy. That’s why most people will never do it.