Tom Guarriello’s on good form today. He’s challenging a cultural bias in favour of talking over listening:
Well, I think it has a lot to do with power. The power dynamics in relationships are very important to Americans and giving opinions by speaking, expressing, influencing, (selling) is the power position in conversations. Traditionally, the masculine position. Listening, receiving opinions, appreciating, modifying (buying) implies lesser power. The feminine position.
We glorify talking. Speech class for students. How to win friends, and influence people. Public speaking for executives. Think of how funny the opposites of those sound. “I’ve got to go to my Listening class.” “How to win friends and be influenced by other people.” “Public Listening.”
This reminds me of a good Improv lesson: that to create good drama you have to let your partner affect you. It’s not about topping their line with a funnier one, but letting them affect you.