This post is rated Sprinters, Olympians and Ironman.
Those who speak the most, learn the least. How can you take in new information if your mouth is always running?
Have any “know-it-all’s” in your life? How much fun are they beyond 15 minutes? What fun is conversation if its only one-sided. After all, aren’t there 2 parts to communication? You may be a great speaker, but are you a good listener? You may talk a great game, but do you have the ability to demonstrate care for others?
Let’s consider some high profile figures in our sport as examples of the message I am trying to communicate in this post:
Lance Armstrong: man, he sure knew how to conduct a live interview. He could strike fear in the hearts of his competitors by knowing just what to say to stir up scandal at the right moment. Consider his reputation amongst his peers. Was a Lance a great talker, sure but a listener he was not.
Craig Alexander: what a guy! Not only was he an Ironman Champion several times over, but he is a likable guy. He speaks very little and is always quick to redirect the spotlight to his fellow competitors. Crowie is a great listener and has surrounded himself with experience and excellence that have added to his tremendous accomplishments.
Chris McCormack: “Macca” I think is somewhat of a hybrid. There is no question that this guy knows how to talk some trash, but the intent does not appear to be malicious. “Macca” speaks to intensify the competition and more times than not has backed up every word. What the public does not see is that he was raised by a single mother to whom he was fiercely protective and respectful. I have to think that there was a lot of listening going on in his childhood.
Have you considered how your 5 closest friends might describe you? In fact, this may be a bit awkward but I would encourage you to ask these 5 how good you are at listening when they need you to hear them speak.