You know the saying about having two ears and one mouth and using these tools proportionally? Well, the reason this idea is so often-quoted is because it is true.
And it’s true because those who talk too much about themselves are physically, logistically and in every other way literally incapable of listening.
And what’s worse (in my humble opinion) is that sometimes it is those people who have the largest followings and preach the most about “being of service” and setting oneself up as a resource, who are the most guilty of the “me, me, ME” disease.
I see it on Twitter, for instance. One tweet after another with a new blog entry, a new report, an award nomination, welcome new followers and, my favorite symptom of the disease, a RT of a RT mentioning yourself.
You know who you are — someone graciously gives you a shout-out, maybe you had an interesting quote or a great teleseminar call, someone points it out and instead of being a “mensch” and saying thank you, you RT (re-tweet) their words about you yourself!
A non-social media world equivalent: I do a good job for a client, XYZ Web Services. XYZ Web Services gives me a call or sends me an e-mail to tell me how pleased they are (were) with the services my company provided to them. I then broadcast this testimonial, either by blanket emailing my whole list or even phoning people one by one, to tell them what a great job I did and how pleased my client was.
Starting to get the picture? So I’m pretty busy calling everyone, or e-mailing everyone, or constantly directing everyone to all my great writings — how could I possibly be listening to an actual word you are saying? And yet, I am still telling anyone who will listen what a great listener I am.
Sheesh…in my re-thinking and re-framing moments, I start to think that maybe I am not me, me, ME enough, that I am not egotistical enough to be who or where I want to be. Maybe the problem is with me and that those who preach most about listening are actually not intending to any such thing. Maybe I am naive and too honest…maybe…maybe….
Or maybe, there is a very special and unique thing about being a listener, an authentic listener. And I plan to stay right there….and will just continue un-following as many me, me, Me-ers as possible