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Is Silence Really Golden?

By Oscar Bruce

"DEAR Dr. OSCAR. Why does this happen to me? Someone introduces themselves to me. I tell them my name. Then suddenly I realize I can not recall their name."

MY RESPONSE... "Simple, you didn't forget their name - you never really heard it in the first place. Your focus was on yourself and not the other person."

A Zen phrase says, "To see, you must get out of the middle of the picture." Remember - you're in the middle of your own picture. So, how best to move the focus from yourself to others?

The great psychologist, Carl Rogers, said, "Listening is the most powerful force we know for releasing potential in others. Real communication occurs when we listen with understanding - to see the idea and attitude from the other person's point of view, to sense how it feels to them, to achieve their frame of reference in regard to the thing they are talking about." This is the key to becoming a master motivator and persuader.

Dale Carnegie, the father of positive thinking, said, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you".

Over my 40 years as Author and Coach in the art of personal communications, I've learned that a happy and successful life is rests on the quality of ones relationships. And nothing affects the quality of relationships more than the willingness to listen to the opinions and feelings of others.


Don't you find it fascinating that some people have all the answers before they've heard the question? Most people do not listen with the intent to understand - they listen with the intent to reply. The first rule of skillful listening is - Don't start thinking about your reply before the other person has exhausted their entire view or feelings.

Most people try to be interesting when they should be interested. The truly successful communicator is a curious person. They want to know more about what other people think and feel. They are truly fascinated by what other people can share with them.


Use the following "perception checking" questions. Try this exercise with a friend or someone you trust.

Person 1

Start talking about any subject for 4 or 5 sentences.

Person 2

When the first person stops talking, repeat back to them what you thought you heard, starting with phrases like: I want to be sure I understand what you are saying. It sounds like...What I hear you saying, if I understand you correctly is...I want to make sure I am hearing what you are saying...

People like people who make them feel special. Listening to a person makes them feel special. When you make them feel special, they then view you as special. This causes their interest in you, your dreams and goals to increase dramatically. They become more willing to help you achieve your goals and objectives.


Let's face it, in America one can achieve just about any dream. But, sometimes a dream needs a little help from others. The cooperation you need from others will be in direct relation to your willingness to listen to the story of their own dreams and ambitions.

About The Author
Oscar Bruce's concepts are widely known for helping people learn to share their dreams and ambitions, clearly and persuasively. His FREE NEWSLETTER is available at

Additional information and access to his free newsletter are available at

Copyright: 2005

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