PEOPLE   |  MOVEMENTS   |  TALK


The subject is not important. The people are important.

November 12th, 2016

A life lesson hard-learned but well-remembered.

I am an idiot. Why? Because I walk into every meeting, every presentation, every social interaction thinking that the subject is important. And that my value will be judged based on how knowledgeable, insightful or clever I can demonstrate myself to be on that subject. But, in fact, it is rarely if ever the subject that is important, or even worth a damn. It is the people that are important. Even when the subject is actually important, it is still never the key ingredient in the transaction. It is always the transactors. And my business partner has demonstrated this to me so many times, but I could never put my finger on it until he spelled it out for me.

So just in case you aren’t blessed with a partner as smart as mine, remember this the next time you are about to walk into a meeting of any size or description: Stop thinking about what you are saying and start paying attention to who you are talking to. Read the room. Appreciate the players. Understand what they are thinking, how they are feeling, what they want, need and are trying to get. And make that the focus of your words and actions.

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