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Two Ears and One Mouth: How Successful People Create Great Opportunities

Written by: | Monday, March 25th, 2013

“We have 2 ears and one mouth – because we should listen twice as much as we speak.”

Many of us have heard this phrase before, and though I find it to be some great advice to live by, I see another way of interpreting it.

In my view, we have two ears because one listens inward and one listens outward. For the ear that listens “in,” it allows us to tune in to ourselves, tune in to who we are, what matters to us, what is unique about us and what our talents, strengths, passions and dreams are.

For the ear that listens “out,” it allows us to tune in to our world, to know what is happening, what matters, where there are opportunities, and where the places are that appeal to us, fit us and need what we do best.

And, obviously, we have a mouth to share. Once we adopt the ability to listen both inward and outward, we can use our mouths to share these unique insights you gather, like what matters to us, where we fit, what we want in life and how we want to connect with it. We share what we believe and what we feel – the information we gathered as we listened with both ears.

So why does this matter? Building a life of opportunities – of possibilities – requires us to tune in and gather information. The more information we gather, the clearer meaningful opportunities present themselves. Opportunities are created when we connect what we know of ourselves to our world, then speaking these as our truths.

Here is an example of what it looks like in action.

Bill spent some time learning how to listen in and listen out, essentially retraining himself how to “hear.” In listening in, he discovered that he was both passionate and exceptional at cleaning up messes (seems really strange, but keep reading). Throughout his life, cleaning up and organizing things not only came easy to him – he is logical, methodical and focused – but the more complicated the mess, the more passionately he responded. Graduating with an accounting degree, a degree that fit his logical and organized mind, he was always bored with the overly organized and standard world of general accounting.

After some coaching, he redefined his world (i.e. he listened outward). He then developed a plan to seek out opportunities that needed his great organizational abilities. He was hired by a business that was being reorganized after years of ineffective management. Where others refused interviewing with the organization, Bill was drawn to it. He knew himself and his need to organize, improve and bring control over chaos. He located opportunities that were not the easy, follow-the-existing-rules companies; he sought the challenging and difficult environments. This is how he connected his inherent capabilities and passions with a real-world fit.

How well do you listen inward? To phrase this in a different way, how well do you know you? How well do you listen outward (i.e. how well do you know your world)? And how well do you put the two together to share it with others as the way for you to show up and be successful on your terms?

Identify your talents and use what you’ve been given to find the opportunities that fit you.

Great news should always be shared and knowing how to create opportunities that fit is great news. Please share this with someone who can benefit from it. And contact me to learn how the Greatness Zone programs and Greatness Coaching is helping people just like you learn to listen in and listen out to be able to create opportunities to be successful in work and life.

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