• Rob

    Hey Melanie,
    We also have 2 eyes to go along with Hajra’s 10 fingers. I enjoy being able to read blogs (such as YOURS) without distraction. It gives me the opportunity to allow it the information to permeate. I have grown from it. Plus, I look funny talking to the computer monitor:)

    • LOL! Love your sense of humor, Co-Pres.

      I look funny talking to the computer monitor, too. But at least it beats the heck out of walking around the house talking to myself. πŸ™‚

      So happy you stopped by, Rob, and enjoy your weekend!

  • What a tough subject Mel– that of trying to take it all in, yet give the value, and get through the wades of info– It’s quite the challenge, and I’m not sure how well I do (men naturally are terrible listeners as I’m sure you well know! πŸ˜‰ ) but I’m certainly trying to improve in this area.

    Great read here lady, and even better conversation.


    • On the contrary, Marcus, I think some men are great listeners!

      YOU are a great listener. How do I know that? I see the way you interact with your readers and those that you coach. Honing the skill of listening means becoming more and more selfless as you tap into the needs of others.

      Thanks for the kudos and being part of a wonderful conversation! πŸ™‚

  • We’re workin’ on listening! Actually, I think we do a pretty good job of it on our blog, through surveys, through our newsletter and on social media. It’s essential. Thanks for posting this, Melanie.

    • Oh, Leanne, you and Cheryl have got listening down to a science!

      I see evidence of that each and every time I visit your blog. And after all, between the two of you, you’ve got FOUR ears! πŸ™‚

      Glad you stopped by — thank you.

  • Hello Melanie, Queen of attention getting titles! Couldn’t resist again. πŸ˜‰

    One thing I do is before I post anything to Facebook or Twitter, I check what is coming through my wall / stream / @replies / etc., and respond and engage. I’ve always been a listener first. Most likely because I have had several people around me my whole life that weren’t listeners. I’m sensitive to it, perhaps even overly sensitive to it. I could rarely get a word in edgewise with my oldest brother (RIP) and it was frustrating.

    Being social isn’t about blabbering. It’s about listening and engaging. Two ears, one mouth! Love it.

    • This thread wouldn’t be complete without you, Deb!

      I hear ya! (pardon the pun) πŸ™‚

      I grew up in a household where my parents did ALL the talking and my siblings and I did ALL the listening. Nothing was in balance under that roof but you know what? I sure learned from a very young age how to be a darn good listener! LOL

      It’s really a positive thing that you’re “sensitive” to this issue. I KNOW it’s helped you to become the success you are today. You’ve been online for about 10 years now, right? Your clients and customers are very fortunate to be working with you. Your listening skills are sharp as a tack and they get to reap the benefits. πŸ™‚

  • Hi Melannie,

    Listen first and talk later. this post is a great reminder for us. If we want to help we have to listen first, to see how or if we can help. After listen than we need to chose our words wisely.

    I do believe that on the internet, it is very important to be a good listener. You can read comment from other post and then exbound upon them.
    It is wonderful to learn from others.

    • Nice to meet you, Debbie, and thanks for knocking on my door today! πŸ™‚

      I’m now following you on Twitter and I want to thank you for your feedback on this post.

      You’re right about the importance of becoming a good listener online. It’s SO much easier to listen to someone when you’re face-to-face. Therefore, we all have to try even harder to hone our listening skills as entrepreneurs and online marketers.

      And the possibilities for learning from each other online are absolutely endless. πŸ™‚

  • Melanie,

    Listening is a skill. It is way too easy to just think you have listened and to keep on dishing out what you think someone should know.

    Duplicating what someone said with out adding my viewpoint on top of it is a skill that is easier in some parts of my life than others. My “know best” often gets in the way of really hearing what is going on.

    • And let me say you’re not the only one who’s guilty of the “know best” syndrome, Sheila.

      That club has a gargantuan membership! πŸ™‚

      It’s really difficult (sometimes impossible) to keep your lips zipped when you know the subject matter inside out and upside down … and like the back of your own hand. For example, I bet Patricia knows lavender better than the rest of us.

      In those instances, “biting your tongue” comes in handy. LOL

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Well, I’d like to add something pithy here, but it’s all been said. Listening is key in my business as a ghostwriter. If I didn’t listen, I would never have anything to write! And yes, Melanie, I DO know someone who rarely lets me get a word in edgewise or asks about me or my business – it’s always about them. Which is another point – ask good questions and then sit back as the person you’re giving all of your attention to happily tells you what you want to know. πŸ™‚

    • You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head, Lis!

      In order to get into the listening mode and hone your “tuning in” skills, ask questions. However, formulating questions is a skill, too.

      You can’t just ask, “What do you need?” That’s too broad.

      As a ghostwriter, I imagine your listening skills need to be tippity top notch. It’s got to be really tricky to become someone else’s voice. And the only way you can truly get to know that person is to listen, intently.

      You’re right — “good questions” are the key! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your feedback.

  • Hi Melanie

    I learn a lot of what my readers/customers want by reading their comments on each post. Also learn from reading comments on other blogs and not just the blog posts. Twitter is another good place just to listen and find out what is happening and what people are looking for.

    Also, I am part of a group that meets frequently on skype. I often just listen to the convo, especially when the experienced marketers are sharing. Learn heaps that way. Then when they pause I can ask them all a question and get some answers πŸ˜‰

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Perfect approach to listening, Patricia!

      Twitter is a great venue for finding out what people are looking for and attending a group meetup or mastermind can’t be beat!

      As bloggers, we should constantly be listening for clues from our readership via their comments. It’s wonderful to be able to turn those comments into future posts.

      Appreciate your input! πŸ™‚

    • Just read your comment Patricia and had to reply. If I may say, I find you to be an amazing listener. Even though we’ve never actually ‘talked in the flesh’, just from our emails and blog conversations I can tell this quality is one of your fortes.


  • I second Yvonne’s strategies. πŸ™‚ I ask questions frequently on my blog and in my ezine, and also “eavesdrop” on conversations on Twitter and Facebook to see what would be helpful to provide.

    There’s so much we can learn if we’re just quiet long enough…

    • And I’ll “third” Yvonne’s strategies, Michelle!

      I always know I’m in for a treat and a really good read when you ask questions on your blog. You’ve got an exceptional talent for doing that and your questions compel your readers to really delve into the topic!

      I think we “busy” ourselves so much at times, Michelle, we forget to “stop and smell the coffee.” πŸ™‚

      Listening can be a big challenge for some people because it means slowing down and quieting down our minds long enough to tune in to what’s going on around us. Maybe someone should create a “How to Listen” guide (hint-hint).

      Thanks for the visit today!

  • Very pointed article, Melanie. It’s impossible to address the needs of our clients or customers, or our market in general if we fail to really listen to what their concerns are. Listening is a skill that has to be practiced, but as you mentioned, it’s a very important one for our success as entrepreneurs and small business owners.

    I listen to questions from my target audience through the ‘replies’ I get to e-mails I send out; by asking questions when I talk with my offline clients face to face, and as well as questions on my blog. Some questions are not directly addressed to me, say on social media; but I’ll take the opportunity to provide information, where appropriate.

    • Great to see you here, Yvonne!

      There’s no question in my mind your listening skills are exemplary.

      From everything you’ve mentioned, I can tell you’ve placed a lot of importance on tuning in to your prospects, customers, clients, and social media contacts.

      Continue to listen and provide help to others and you’re headed straight for success! πŸ™‚

      P.S. Thank you so much for your message this past week. It was wonderful to hear your voice again! My offline work schedule oftentimes keeps me several miles from my phone but I hope to chat with you soon!

  • Melanie, I think some of us need to learn to balance between the two. I tend to be so busy listening and researching I forget nobody can see me unless I do some talking! It’s certainly important to find the right balance between the two. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Bingo, Sherrie!

      That’s the ticket!

      Creating a presence online means doing a lot of “talking”. Otherwise, you’re invisible. And I believe many of us get too caught up in the “research” mode and don’t do nearly enough talking. Working toward striking a balance is a bit tricky but it’s do-able.

      Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

  • I’m not so sure my mantra of “it’s all good” exactly “fits” when talking about all the noise on the net. All that noise is not exactly good! LOL So much of it is irrelevant or simply hype. It takes an intelligent soul to wade through it all to come up with the gems. I supposed “listening” would be the way to do that!

    • Hey Martha!

      I know a lot of times when you use that phrase it’s in reference to outlook, attitude, and mindset for building a business. And I love when you say it because there will always be peaks and valleys for entrepreneurs. So “It’s all good” since we learn and course-correct as we go.

      And you’re 100% right …

      We need to discern the good noise from the not-so-good noise on the internet. Because some of it really is garbage.

      Thanks for joining in the conversation! πŸ™‚

    • I agree with Martha. Yes, the net is wonderful and so much information is great too, but boy is there some junk to filter out these days—thus the listening skill becomes all the more important.


      • Toooo true, Marcus.

        We’ve got information piled on top of more information buried under piles of even more information!

        The ONLY way we’re going to become adept at discerning the junk from the non-junk is by becoming much better listeners.

        Always enjoy seeing you here — thanks for the visit today! πŸ™‚

  • Hi, Melanie:
    I am always tempted to explain why similes such as these are incorrect, but I obviously understand the concept. Too many of us fail to listen. More importantly, even if we think we are listening, we “hear” what the person is not saying. When certain buzzwords are used- we immediately jump to a different conclusion, or tune out for a few seconds.
    I was preparing for my holiday this week and realized something. Jacob and Lavan are “having a discussion”. Lavan asks why Jacob left; wasn’t he happy. Jacob recounts his years of working for two daughters, flocks, wages, etc., and how the rules were always changing. Lavan recounts that the daughters were his, the flocks were his, everything one sees is his.
    That’s not an answer. He basically said, I have no regard for you or your thoughts, only my own. When one party in negotiation has no regard for the other or it’s positions or it’s merits, there is no negotiation possible…
    Unfortunately, this sounds like our current political situation right now. (The last time it felt this way was in the 60’s….)

    • Thank you so much for sharing that story, Roy — it’s a prime example of how listening can have a MAJOR impact on not only influence and persuasion, but on “negotiation”, as well.

      I love this …

      “Even if we think we are listening, we β€œhear” what the person is not saying.”

      Isn’t is fascinating that we can “twist” someone’s words to suit us? Or that we can get to the bottom of what someone is REALLY trying to tell us even if they’re not saying the appropriate words?

      Appreciate your insights!

  • Hi Melanie, I also love the title of your posts – they always draw me in to read them! As a teacher, I often find myself talking than listening but I have discovered that in order for me to know what my students need, I listen to their feedback. It’s my listening am I only able to determine if what I have shared has been understood.

    If I didnt’t take the time to do so, I would never know if I am helping or if my lessons are just falling on deaf ears!

    Having gone through a coach training program, we are reminded that in a coaching session it’s 80% listening!

    • Hi Diana,

      “80%” listening is a great idea with huge payoffs!

      Yes, listening to the feedback from your students will definitely assure you your messages are being heard and understood. If they can “mirror” your lessons, you’re doing a wonderful job. And you’re doing an even better job if they listen so intently they can “add” to what you’ve said. πŸ™‚

      That’s for swinging by!

  • Hi Mel
    “Have you ever had a conversation with someone who won’t let you get a word in edgewise?”

    I didn’t realise that you had met my wife.

    Sorry – couldn’t resist.

    Said too much already.

    • Hi Keith,

      I hope your wife doesn’t read my blog. LOL

      I know. Sometimes we just can’t resist. πŸ™‚


  • we were thought how to listen, and listen well for over 5 years (I am a psychologist, remember)…jokes apart, online presence has changed the way we learn and interact, but the important thing is that someone might know it better. Have a voice, speak up… but listen to what others are saying so that you can speak better…
    We have two ears, one mouth…but we have ten fingers! πŸ™‚

    • Leave it to you, Hajra, to “point” out our ten fingers! LOL πŸ™‚

      I love this remark —> “but listen to what others are saying so that you can speak better.”

      I believe sometimes it’s important to slow down and quiet down all the chatter and take some time to simply listen — to listen to what others are saying and to listen to ourselves.

      Thanks so much for your input!

  • All great points Melanie! Listening is learning and learning is growing. This is a very important skill and I am not sure if you ever can ‘master’ this skill. I try to improve each and every day. It is tough sometimes to listen to others that are so far off base on something you know about, however, letting them talk and listening to what and how they say things is key.

    If one thing I learned when I was younger, it was to listen, think and then respond. Thank you for bringing this topic to light — I do find all the ‘noise’ to be a good thing for online success – and that is because, if we didn’t have the ‘noise’ we wouldn’t have successful businesses.

    • You’re SO right, Lynn!

      We’ve absolutely, positively GOT to have the noise going on and we’ve got to be the ones who are at least partially responsible for creating that noise, too!

      But we all know the importance and value of developing and nurturing relationships — online and off. And one of the very best relationship-building skills to hone is “listening”.

      I really appreciate that you said you may never master the skill of listening but having the willingness to keep honing that skill is what counts.

      “Think before you speak” is something I learned as a child, too. Great lifelong lesson. πŸ™‚

      So glad you stopped by.

  • Great way to remember what’s *really* important, Melanie! =) One of my really successful uncles who is also a businessman once told me that his secret to success was being very observant. I think this ties in with your idea of listening. It’s often less about action and more about understanding what others need and want. That’s essentially what businesses are all about — serving the people.

    Thanks for reminding me of this, Melanie. I’ll be exercising my ears more! =)

    • You’ve already started exercising your ears, Sam! πŸ™‚

      You listened to every word I said and you listened to your memory bank and thought about your uncle as a successful businessman. He was quite smart.

      I spent the first two years online “observing” successful bloggers and online marketers. I’ll be honest, Sam. I didn’t take much action at all during that time. Some folks would say I was wasting my time. On the contrary, observing and listening to people I wanted to emulate was time well spent!

      Three cheers for the ears! πŸ™‚

      • Haha! Three cheers for the ears! =) That totally made me smile. =)

        You bring up a really good point too, Melanie. Society seems to look down on “inaction,” when what goes on during these moments (i.e., insights, understanding, listening, creativity, observation) can be most valuable for our businesses!

        • Sam,

          Anytime I can create a smile, I’m happy. πŸ™‚

          Your remark brings the word, “balance”, to mind. Yes, we MUST take action if we want to be successful. But we also need to balance that action with all the essentials you’ve mentioned …


          I have a hunch you’re an expert listener. πŸ™‚