RIP Robin Williams, a Great Listener


I love this clip for many reasons. Robin Williams was one of the greatest comedians on the planet, and he will be sorely missed by many, many people. The art of improv is truly an amazing thing to watch, and he certainly was one talented individual. The fast pace! The laughter! The admiration! Wouldn’t you love to be able to think that quickly on your feet? Guess what! You can.

It just takes listening and self-awareness. A great tip to improve your listening is to ask yourself “When am I already good at listening?” In the morning? Why? With people you like? Why? When the person is important to you and you have a good reason to listen? Why? See a theme here? By asking yourself these questions you can put a plan in place for the times when listening is difficult. For example, if listening is easier with the people in your personal life perhaps you need to spend more time rapport building with your colleagues.

Don’t forget that to really improve your listening skills you should try adding a healthy dose of empathy. When we care about what the other person is saying this increases our ability to focus.

My all time favorite listening tip: is to take a page out of Robin Williams’ book and add…. humor. Despite any private issues he may have had, he was one of the funniest people of his generation – some would argue of all time, and he was loved because of this.

Laughter brings us together and helps strengthen relationships. When a strong business relationship is a priority, listening is much easier for both people. But remember to be careful with humor. Know your audience. I do love Mr. Williams but some of his material is too racy for the office. Think “Mrs Doubtfire” not “Death to Smoochy” *

* Love this movie, btw!