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If you want to be heard, you have to listen.

As one of the interviewees in’s article on what advice eight successful entrepreneurs would give their younger selves, IDEO Chief Creative Officer Paul Bennett said something that really hit home with us:

For most of my twenties I assumed that the world was more interested in me than I was in it, so I spent most of my time talking, usually in a quite uninformed way, about whatever I thought, rushing to be clever, thinking about what I was going to say to someone rather than listening to what they were saying to me.”

We all do this: being so distracted by our own thoughts that you don’t listen to the other person.

You’re plotting out your response and you don’t actually hear what the other person is saying; you’re not being open.

Nobody is going to listen to you and you’re not going to get promoted if you just sit there and have clever answers and retorts for everything. You’ll just come off as defensive, and, worse yet, a megalomaniac.

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