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Connection: listen like a bartender

When my younger daughter is off to college I think we’re going to open a bar. Why? Because my wife could be the world’s greatest bartender. Not because she knows how to mix drinks — she doesn’t — but that’s easily learn-able. Her skill is rare and valuable. People readily open up to her with their stories, problems, concerns, and life history.

How does she do it?

  1. When you speak to her she actually listens without thinking about what she is going to say.
  2. She looks at you and gives you her full attention.
  3. She doesn’t interrupt to one-up your story with one of her own.
  4. If you pause for a breath or take a break in the conversation, she doesn’t immediately check her iPhone for a text, e-mail, or tweet. She’s not uncomfortable with silence. It acts as an invitation for you to continue when you are ready.
  5. She laughs at your jokes as readily as you do.
  6. When you share your mistakes or failures, she doesn’t judge. Nor does she patronize you with inauthentic compliments or consolation to win your affection.
  7. She doesn’t gossip, so you feel safe sharing whatever is on your mind.
  8. She asks great open-ended questions that cause you to reflect and think more deeply.

People readily give her their trust because they feel safe; they feel heard and understood.


Be a High-Trust Leader: build CONNECTION by listening like a bartender.

And in a few years, let me know if you want to invest in our bar (aviation theme of course). We’re going to make a killing!

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