LNC 49 The Art of Listening | Art Of Listening


People have two modes. They’re either talking or waiting to talk. People need to understand the art of listening since we have two ears but only one mouth. Join John Solleder as he sits down with guests Dr. Nancie Celini and Keith Hooper. Dr. Nancie and Keith share why it’s important to listen and find the right people to listen to. They also discuss some strategies to help you learn how to listen.

People are so busy talking about themselves that they forget to listen to others. Stop trying to think of what to say next, and just listen. Become a better listener today. What you might hear could make a difference in your life. Tune in!

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


The Art Of Listening With John Solleder, Dr. Nancie Celini And Keith Hooper

We are going to continue our series with Keith Hooper and Dr. Nancie Celini. We are going to talk about the art of listening. Hopefully, everybody have read our previous episode about The Art of Communication. There is this quote, “When it comes to being a good listener, it’s better to be interested than interesting.” I’m going to start the conversation, and I will throw it to Dr. Nancie, and then to Keith for their thoughts on this.

When I hear that, it makes so much sense because I know I am guilty, and you may be too if you are reading to this. A lot of times, I’m interrupting the other person when they are talking about their situation or trying to give them a firsthand experience that’s comparative to whatever they are going through. For example, Nancie and I lost our mother a couple of years ago. While you may have done that too, and if not, maybe in time, unfortunately you will.

When somebody says, “If your mother died many years ago, you are not in the moment.” My favorite dog died. We were in Florida. Our favorite dog, Banana, I miss him. My wife and kids miss him. He was a big dopey dog but we loved him. At the moment when the dog died, you don’t want to hear that somebody else’s dog died. You just want somebody to listen and say, “That’s unfortunate,” and shed light as they go.

That’s part of that about being a good listener and that’s something I know I can do better in 2022. Nancie, why don’t we start with you? Everybody knows your background a little bit, whether you want to come from a corporate standpoint and deal with clients or from a personal standpoint. How do you become a better listener?

This is the topic near and dear to my heart. Thanks for having me back. We talked about communication and being a good communicator. This is the opposite of that. Now, I’m sitting on the other side, trying to hear what somebody is saying. It’s very interesting to me. What you described is explained through yoga philosophy. I would like to start coming at this from my yoga background. In yoga philosophy, there is a Sanskrit term, Asteya, which means to be non-stealing.

That’s not referring to the act of, “I’m going into your house and taking your wallet or your valuable art collection.” Non-stealing means you are present in the presence of the person you are listening to. You are never going to like them in their commentary. You are not going to try to put your experience out there when someone is bearing perhaps not their whole soul but a little part of it. Especially in those scenarios that you described when someone is grieving when someone has gone through a loss.

It is an awkward position. We have all done it. This is no judgment because that’s also part of yoga. When I found that concept years ago in my yoga philosophy studies, which is part of becoming a seasoned and experienced yoga teacher versus a yoga instructor. Understanding what is said about these human behaviors is fascinating to explore from that perspective. This first concept of when you are listening, you are distracted by your experience and that’s the human thing that’s going on.

Learning to not be distracted when someone says, “I lost my mom or my favorite pet. I’ve got fired from my job.” Resisting that temptation, even if you have had the experience of saying, “I know how you feel.” That’s also something we all say when we are trying to pay attention and listen. That’s not fair because you don’t know how that person is feeling. I want to start this conversation, which is highly important by turning to 5,000 years of ancient wisdom that says in its codifications, you should be non-stealing.

When you're listening, you get distracted by your own experience. Learn not to be distracted. Share on X

Therefore, that concept of mindfulness and being present in the moment is explained and taught. What is the number one skill for learning how to listen? It’s learning how to be quiet. A couple of other things from my corporate world and martial arts training, you should have 1 mouth and 2 ears. Always remember that we humans tend to fall into the trap of having only two modes. We are either talking or waiting to talk.

That middle space that we should be taking up is something that’s not taught and unless someone calls it out to you, you may be unaware that you are a poor listener. Usually, when people try to call that out, it might be a husband, wife, daughter or son, it can become an emotional thing. “You never listen to me.” We would all listen better if we had some training around it. Thanks for having this conversation. Those are my opening bids, Keith.

Let’s go to Keith. I know he’s got something to say on this as well.

I’m not as soft as Nancie. I’m a little more of an abrupt, business guy. Having been in business for myself since I was nineteen years old. This show is about building businesses, relationships, and all the things that are there. People do business with people they like. You like people who listen to you. People will like you if you are the person that listens to them. Oftentimes in the business world, we have a message and we want to deliver that message but the person may not be ready to hear that message.

We may need to tweak that message a little bit, depending on who they are. From a business standpoint of where I’m at is the best business opportunities that ever came to me were when I listened when somebody was sharing something with me and varied in usually about 10 or 15 minutes was something that they were going to tell me that would make a difference.

It doesn’t matter, whether that’s relating to the farming, export, tracking business or network marketing business or whatever happened to be that when you are listening to somebody, there is a statement. If you listen to someone, they will tailor the presentation by telling you what they want to know to make a decision for whatever you are doing. That’s one of the things that we’ve got to look at.

It was Professor Molz that talked about that he did an experiment. He got on a plane in Los Angeles and he flew to New York. On the way to New York, the goal was to say nothing but to listen to people. Ask questions, get information from them, and then when they’ve got to New York, people got off the airplane that he had set back was seated with, there were teams from his group that interviewed those people. He then got back on the airplane, flew back to Los Angeles. When he got back, it’s the same scenario. The idea was for him to find out as much about those people as possible by listening to what they had to say.

These people spoke 90% of the time about whatever it was. When the people were interviewed about whatever they talked about that they had been on this airplane trip, they met the most interesting person. They didn’t know anything about Dr. Molz, but he had listened to them. Everything is business, whether you like it or not. When you’ve got married, you sold your spouse on you. You are trying to sell your kids something to do what you want them to do.

LNC 49 The Art of Listening | Art Of Listening

Art Of Listening: When it comes to being a good listener, it’s better to be interested than interesting.


If you are in the business of other things, whatever you are interacting with people and wanting to communicate with them, a big part of that communication is listening because they will tell you what they need to know to do business with you. They will tell you what they need to do to go clean their room. They will tell you what they need to do to interact and do these things. Often, we get in such a big hurry to tell whatever it is we are doing that we don’t listen first. It was Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit.

Don’t stop listening until that person stops talking. Most importantly, don’t plan on what you are going to say. Nancie’s point there is that people are talking and getting ready to talk. Don’t get ready to talk. Listen. Let them tell you about them? Let them tell you about their trip up the Amazon. You may have been there the week before and been there for a month. Somebody went on a short trip.

Somebody went to Hawaii and they were telling you about the great trip to Hawaii. You may own a condominium in Hawaii. You may spend six months out of the year there but you need to let them tell their story. In the point of the business here and this show is exactly that. Let them tell their story. Let them let you know who they are. From there, then you can move to whatever point that you want to have and that’s very important.

A lot of great points and all of that. Whatever you are in, if you are reading this show, you are probably in network marketing either full-time or part-time. You might be in something else or you might be like a lot of our readers. A lot of people that are in network marketing will have another source of income. Maybe you are in real estate or another business entirely that you own or you work for somebody else. It’s important to listen because a lot of times opportunities are created by listening or overhearing other people’s comments or conversations.

If you listen, people will talk about a number of different things. One of the ladies I spoke with pointed out to me how beneficial she thought this particular call was about the art of inviting. In there, I talked about the fact that you have people talking about all sorts of things to do with their health, how many people have gained what used to be the Freshman 15, when it given off to college is the pandemic 15 or the COVID 15. I don’t know how you stay home and don’t work out more. I have worked out more than I have since I was a young athlete personally.

A lot of people have gained weight. They watch too much Netflix and too little walking around the block with the dog. It’s the fact of life. A lot of people are talking about weight control, their general health, their immune system, their immunity, their overall wellbeing. If you ever heard a conversation like that and you are in our business, no matter what company you are with, you probably have a product that fits with what that individual is looking for. They are saying, “I have a need, you have a solution.”

If you are looking at your cell phone and Facebook or Instagram, you may miss that person. What if that person is in the bank line behind you or they are in front of you in the line in Starbucks talking to a friend? You can eavesdrop on someone’s conversation. Be polite about it and say, “I overheard you mentioned something. I have a product that perhaps can help you.” How many people have been concerned about their income or lack of income and saying, “I’m one of the lucky ones?” There was a CEO who laid off 900 people by Zoom. I’m not making any judgments, but it was news.

Keith and I have a mutual friend that unfortunately lost his job. It happens. It’s going to continue to happen and even in a good economy, people lose their jobs. This means what if you were listening and somebody expressed, “I wish I had a way to make an extra $500, $1,000 or $1,500 a month. It would really come in handy.” If you are listening and you hear that, even if they are a total stranger, can you go up and tap them on the shoulder and say, “I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. I have a business may be that you should look at. Can I spend twenty minutes telling you about it? Can I send you a video? Can we get on Zoom?” You know what to do. You are network marketers.

People only do business with people they like. Share on X

If you are not listening, you are never going to hear that other people express that need or desire that they have where your opportunity can perhaps fill that void of something that they happened to be looking for. They are saying, “I need it.” Their sign is up, “I need this. I need more money or I need more health.” You are only going to hear it if you are going to shut up long enough to allow yourself to hear it, and then act on that opportunity. Nancie, let’s go to you. How do you respond to that?

I think so much is missed these days, John, to your point, not only about listening to the world that’s going on around us, but tuning out some of the world that’s going around us so we can hear what’s important. We are living in one of the most distracting states that I have ever seen people in because we had been also tethered to our technology. It’s nice to stand in line at Starbucks with other humans. Get your coffee and go, “How are you?” Have a conversation.

It’s getting to be more standard fair day-to-day in the Northeast but for a long time that wasn’t happening at all. Instead, we have been tethered to our cell phones, computers, iPads and forced to work in this virtual way. You have been on big meetings, you and Keith. When you have 50, 100, 200 people in a room, it’s difficult to carry on one focused conversation. It can be even more challenging when you are in a remote setting because you don’t know what people are doing there, especially if they are not on camera.

They are off-camera. They’ve got themselves on mute so they can hear you but you can’t hear them. In those distractions, we lose so much. I will go back to the corporate side of this. I was with Xerox. They are regarded as one of the best training universities for business professionals. More so than maybe their technology. Xerox had a three-day course in effective listening skills. We teach so many things these days.

If you look at an average curriculum for our high schoolers, they are getting a lot of stuff, but are they taught how to effectively sit down, listen to a conversation? Also, jot down the notes of what they heard, and then develop the ability to even say back to that person, “Keith, I listened to you, describe your farming profession to me. I heard these three things. I want to make sure I heard you right. You said 1, 2, 3?” That’s that ability to close that loop on that conversation and communication between the art of listening, feeding back and confirming.

Do you remember the little diagrams, the sender and the receiver of the message? I don’t know if that’s even still taught. If you are going to go off into a profession like speech pathology, you probably get a lot of that but we don’t teach these skills, which is why these conversations are so important. I would make sure that I do this with every single one of my grandchildren because at least it’s a little thing I can do to make a difference.

They all want your attention. Kids are like that. If I’m busy doing something and it’s always inevitably when I’ve got the hot pot and I’m trying to get dinner on the table for ten people, there is nothing wrong with saying lovingly, kindly and in a business situation, it’s a little differently like, “I don’t have the space now in my attention to listen to you. I want to listen to you.” In the case of my grandkids, “Can we have this conversation when I’m done with dinner and we could sit down and you could tell me all about it?” Children are amazing. They are very resilient. They don’t take it as a personal front.

Sometimes we have to be careful with that in a business setting. We don’t know when to say, “No, I can’t have this conversation now because I can’t effectively give you the time. I have all these other distractions.” The worst thing and I hate this when it’s done to me because it feels like a punch in the face. I’m having a meeting with someone. They’ve got their cell phone and this is all they are doing, “Uh-huh. Right.” They are not listening to me. They are focused on that phone call. Could it be a phone call from their doctor telling them whether or not they tested positive for some awful disease? It could be. I don’t know. No judgments.

LNC 49 The Art of Listening | Art Of Listening

Art Of Listening: Humans tend to fall into the trap of having only two modes. They’re either talking or waiting to talk. People need to learn how to be quiet. They only have one mouth but two ears.


That’s also a time for good listeners to notice when the communicator is not giving you the time and that two-way process that has to happen. We would all agree that this is a two-way commitment. That person on the line who doesn’t think you are a nut job and we will talk to you in Starbucks, that’s a beautiful thing. Being cautious, how we all approach other people’s space because that’s the other thing I noticed. People are very sensitive because we are stressed. We are on overload.

That’s my take on it but you made some good points too, that sometimes the opportunity comes up for us to listen. Will we be ready and are we available? Can we make ourselves available to tune in and listen? If we don’t, that may be an opportunity we are missing. I want to make sure we know this is about relationships and being in agreement that this is a good time for me to listen to you. I don’t think we set up those boundaries well enough either. That’s my two cents.

As we are talking about this listening for success, you have the opportunity to listen. There are a couple of things I want to cover. Number one, if you are talking to somebody for the first time, you are listening to them remembering that the person that’s asking the questions controls the conversation. It’s not the person talking. When you are meeting somebody for a second time, you don’t know much about them, ask some questions. Find out about them. What do they like and don’t like? What do they like and hate about their job? What do they like about where they live? What don’t they like about where they live?

They will tell you anything if you ask the questions. If you ask caringly, they will answer the question. If you ask it in the context of generally caring. You don’t do it like you’ve got them in a 1940s movie and they are sitting at a table and you’ve got a light shining on them. You are interrogating them. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a genuine interest. I bought some property in Idaho and I was talking to some people that we’ve got to be neighbors in the area.

I was visiting with them. They gave me a couple of pieces of information that I was able to use to make a very good beat that allowed me to do that because of a very good deal. I was thinking about it while we are here. Do you remember a chain called Mervyn’s? Sandra and I were having dinner in San Francisco back when it was a place you wanted to go have dinner. We were sitting in a restaurant and we were having dinner. Next to us were a group of six attorneys who were talking about how Mervyn’s was going to go out of business.

They were attorneys working for Mervyn’s. They were talking about all the stuff that was happening internally and how they were positioning this stuff and what was going to happen in a very short time. Being a nice guy sitting next to them at the next table, Sandra and I were listening because they were speaking loud enough for us to hear them.

I’m not going to tell you what we did with that information but when we did a little analysis of who they were, which we were able to do as they did something and we were able to interact with them a little bit to find out a little bit about who they were. We were able to take that information and use it to our advantage. It was that listening process. We had an opportunity because of listening that there was a situation where someone had passed away. We were talking as a family and this was an acquaintance that we have known for many years and it was a family situation.

They want to dispose of a condominium complex quickly. We didn’t gouge them on the pricing but nobody else even had the opportunity to buy it because the question, later on, was, “How were you able to get that proper?” We listened. You have that in so many things in life, not just in network marketing but with all kinds of other opportunities that will present themselves if you listen. If you are talking, you are not listening. Most of the information that you are going to receive came to you when you were listening, not talking.

Most of the information you learned came to you when you were listening, not talking. Share on X

Smart people listen. That is so important but it applies to so many things in our lives called listening for success. If you are in the direct sales industry, which is what we are talking about here when you meet that person the first time, I play a game. I want to know as much about them as possible and for them to know little to nothing about me. I take the Dr. Molz approach.

Sandra and I always have conversations. She goes, “Why would people tell you those things?” I said, “I asked.” That empowers you when you are building your business. People do business with people they like and trust. People do business with people that they care about. The statement was, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” That’s only going to come through by listening, John.

There are 6.4 billion people worldwide who use a smartphone. On average, each of these users spends 3 hours and 43 minutes a day on it, whether they are looking at Facebook, Instagram, texting or speaking. I was talking to one of our young distributors and he had his phone in his hand. He is 24. I said, “You can make phone calls on that thing.” He looked at me funny because at that age they don’t make phone calls. They don’t realize that thing you can pick it up, dial some numbers, and somebody else might pick it up and talk to you.

Along those lines, and I’m not slamming cell phones, I use mine constantly. I’m on Facebook constantly. I’m a Facebook junkie. I admit it. I love Facebook. Some people hate it. I don’t know why. It’s interesting to see where people are up to but it’s a distraction and here is where I’m going with that. Here we are able to better communicate electronically than we have ever been because of those phones. We can do all sorts of things. We can talk to people in another country for free on WhatsApp. We can do all these remarkable things, yet I feel more distant from most human beings than I ever have.

I have people around but because everybody’s first inclination is to be on that phone. The guy sitting next to you, you might know him for years but he is on his phone the whole time. How do we get back to some basic communication? One thing I’m doing is I can’t take a whole day doing it because of the nature of the business that we are in, but I am taking some time every day where I’m leaving the phone plugged in the wall.

I don’t care who calls me. I don’t care if it’s business or personal. If I’m waiting for a call from a doctor’s office, from a new distributor or something, I know that call is coming. I’m going to be looking for it. Otherwise, I’m disconnecting from the darn thing for a few hours at a time. I find number one, I’m getting actual work done in my office. I can do some work if I don’t have my phone with me because nobody is bothering me.

I can put my head down, whether it’s something I have to read, write or have to communicate with somebody else on. I can get some productive work done. I can read a book and learn more by plugging it into the wall for a few hours. I have found so far since I plugged it into the wall that nobody has died because I didn’t call them back within an hour or two, which is remarkable. How do we get back to that where we are listening to a little bit more to another human being’s needs, wants, aspirations, and a little bit less to what they had for dinner that they posted on Facebook or Instagram?

How do we do that effectively? How do we get that discipline? To put the thing down and say, “Let’s listen,” whether that’s with your kids, you both have kids and grandkids that some are becoming adults, probably have cell phones already. Whether it’s in a business climate where they are looking at their phone. They are not listening to you. Their brains going on that, and then it’s coming back to you and they’ve got half of what you said. God forbid, you are giving them instructions on how to take their medication. Let me throw that question at you both. Keith, let’s start with you this time.

LNC 49 The Art of Listening | Art Of Listening

Art Of Listening: Students learn many things in school, but are they taught how to sit down, jot down notes, and listen effectively? They also need to give feedback and reply properly.


We have fallen into some pit that we think we need to communicate with everybody. We need to go on Facebook. We need to have 4,500 friends on Facebook. We need to send texts out to this or that to hundreds of people. There was even a time when people used email. That was back in the Stone Age, Fred Flintstone time. People communicated that way. What we are talking about in the show is communication.

Success is going to circulate somewhere between 6, 8, maybe 10 people that you are going to be communicating with that are in that circle that’s going to lead to success if you are in network marketing, real estate, agricultural or the trucking business. Whatever it is, there is going to be a core handful of people in each one of those industries that you are going to tap into. In that art of listening, what we are talking about is who are you listening to. That’s key to success.

If you are in the trucking industry, which is one of our businesses. We only had 8 or 10 long-haul trucks that we use. I wasn’t interested in gleaning the information from somebody else that had ten trucks. I was very interested in gleaning information from the guy that I knew that had 500 trucks. He had a very interesting business. His name was Opie Wallace. He was out of Planada, California and his business card said, “Opie Wallace.” That’s all it said. No number, no address, no phone number.

There wasn’t anything else on this man’s business card, just his name and where his trucking company was at. This guy came to California in the 1930s. He was part of the transition that you hear about coming from Oklahoma to California with nothing. He owned one of the largest trucking companies in California if not the largest. Once again, I cared about what Opie had to say.

I cared about that information. Often, we are concerned that we need to listen to all of these people. Most of those people are not going to give you the information. You need to move forward. What are you looking to accomplish? In whatever the business or relationship is if you are working on your relationship and you are looking for advice on a relationship, who are you listening to, somebody else that’s got a terrible relationship with all the family and kids?

Nobody talks to them and you are listening to them for advice? It’s not who I want to listen to. If you are in the real estate business like my friend in Nevada owns a very large real estate company, he doesn’t advertise. He’s got 40 or 50 agents working for him. They sell hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate every year and they do it all from referrals. They don’t do any advertising other than a yard sign so that they know the property for sale or whatever they call those things.

He does everything from referrals because his agents listen to the people that are buying and the people that are selling. Generally, if somebody is selling something, they are also going to be looking to buy something and people that are buying something are also going to know people that are looking to sell something of whatever the scenario is and they do that all through that relationship but it’s a small group of people. We are too concerned about selling hula hoops to the masses, which is great but for most of us, that’s not our business.

Our business is about a group of key people and listening to that group of key people in any area of our lives that we are trying to get better in and making sure they are the right people. This is where asking the questions. I was listening to a guy and he was concerned about a particular point and a friend of his says, “I found my advisor.” The advisor happened to be a person with a lot of credentials. When you dug into it, they didn’t have much success. That’s not who you want.

If you want to get better in life, you need to listen to the right people. Share on X

Once again, spend the time to listen, ask the questions, who are you listening to, and understand for success in life. A handful of people are going to be your mentors and advisors. It was Milton Hershey that was talking about a group of people, where they sat around and had dinner once a month and there were 6, 8 or 10 businessmen. They were all in different types of business but they listened to each other because they could glean that information. Who you are listening to is very important. It’s very important that people you are listening to, are worthy of you taking the time to listen to them. Ask some questions to find out.

Going back to this thought because it’s two-sided. What can we do to be better listeners and what can we do to set up the environment for our communicator? Again, this is important and key to use the word relationship. Good communication is fostering a good relationship right from the moment, whether you know that person for ten years or you are meeting them for the first time. The personal responsibility that I have in becoming a good and active participant, who is engaged in listening to what’s being said, is a skill.

There is an art side but there is the skill side and not everybody has it. It’s some of the things I mentioned. The one thing I didn’t mention that I will toss out because it can be our evil twin sometimes and that’s our ego. The expression, “You’ve got to leave your ego at the front door.” When you are going in to have a conversation to Keith’s point, ask good questions and be humble. If you are there to get information and listen to someone, they probably don’t want to hear your background unless it’s an interview. That’s a little different.

The other word I want to toss out here about developing this as a skill and we don’t talk about it enough is the art of compassion. That doesn’t mean that in every single conversation I’m engaged in, I’m hearing something horrific and awful. Compassion should be much more accessible to us. It goes like this. I’m a human, you are a human. We are all made of flesh, blood and bones. I have come here to listen to you. I’m going to also listen to you with compassion because maybe some of the things they are going to say are getting close to a very personal nature with me. Listening for, that is important.

How many times have you been asked, “How are you?” We lie. “I’m fine.” How many times have you heard someone say, “How are you?” “I’m fine,” and you know they are not. Compassion goes a long way. I don’t care, whether you are in a business setting, at a Sunday church meeting or a PTA. It doesn’t matter. Having compassion is important. How do we develop these things? We have to practice listening. One of the strongest things that I do for myself is practice the art of meditation.

One of the most compelling, resonating spaces for me having learned how to accept it is silence. It’s a powerful space. Why do we feel like we have to water with our words and fill every single moment? Keith and I are having a serious conversation. He told me something that is personal and powerful. I can sit with that for a moment. I can look at him. I can make eye contact. I can say, “I hear you.” How often do we practice that?

We don’t because we are too busy saying, “How are you?” I’m going to say, “I’m fine,” and you are onto the next thing. Practicing that silent void. You can practice it in meditation. I’m going to go out on a limb here, John, but I’m going to assume your readers will forgive me for it. I’m very open about my faith. I learned from someone very dear to me that prayer was when we talk to the Almighty. Meditation is when we shut up and listen.

For people who think meditation is some mystical guru cave thing that came from India, the practice was developed so that people could sit in mindful contemplation to listen to the universe and for the Almighty. You tell me how powerful that skill would be because that voice is hidden in a lot of things. It’s hidden in the things that people say. There is compassion, hearing someone, hearing that personal experience, being able to look them in the eye, and listening, you are engaged. You are watching and listening.

LNC 49 The Art of Listening | Art Of Listening

Art Of Listening: How many times have you been asked, “How are you?” and you lie. Compassion goes a long way. Listen with compassion because maybe some of the things you’ll hear are very personal.


You are on occasion saying, “Yes, I hear you.” That’s what I do personally. The other side of this is knowing that someone is super busy and you are going to rent space in their brain for fifteen minutes. It means that you have to do your homework and preparation. If I’m meeting with a business executive who I know is super busy and they’ve got a thousand things on their mind, I’m prepping for that meeting, be it 15, 20 minutes, harder than I would prep to give a one-hour presentation of 1,000-person conference.

Why? It’s because I’ve got to get in. To Keith’s point, I’ve got to ask the right question to open the door. I have to shut up and listen. I also have to set them up a bit in a good way by saying, “I know you are busy. You are giving me. You, giving me your time, means so much to me. I only need fifteen minutes of your time.” The conversation we are going to have ties back to our communication skills. “I’m going to discuss A, B and C and in a fifteen-minute conversation, it’s, “I’m here to tell you about one thing. Tell the person who you are going to listen to what you need from them because we also don’t set up people for success in the opposite way.”

Those are my two perspectives. What I can do to become a better listener and I have given you some things to think about. Not everybody is going to do them, not everybody practices yoga but everybody practices some form of faith following or whatever that is. I’m going to tell you, every single faith that I know of has that concept of learning how to be quiet and listen. It’s so important. The more you practice it, three minutes a day, the better and better you get at it. Hopefully, I have given you some tactical ideas.

Listening creates opportunity. Keith, you mentioned our friend who is a realtor. I know the company he is with. He is one of the largest and famous in the world. Everybody on the show would know it if you mention it. It’s because he heard of an opportunity where the parent company had enacted on her own name, he did something with that name that has benefited him to this day. If you could hold that thought we are going to come back to that.

I worked with a guy who owns a network marketing company when I was doing consulting work in the industry a number of years ago. This gentleman shared with me that his uncle started a company selling clocks door-to-door over in Scotland back at the turn of the last century. Out of that, a lot of people said, “We love the clock but we don’t have the money to buy the clock.” At that time, you didn’t have credit cards.

He went to the bank and created commercial papers so that people could sign their life away and put down the equivalent of about £1 at that time. Buy the clock, I don’t know if it was £5. They owed the rest to the bank and he paid it with the interest and they’ve got the clock. They’ve got up for work or school on time. It’s an opportunity by listening. In other words, the customer was saying, “I want that but I can’t buy that.” What did he do?

He heard them well enough that he said, “Let me go down and fix the problem so that you can get the clock.” By the way, he created the largest mail-order company in the world long-term as a result of that. Way back, I was a member of the Million Dollar Round Table. I don’t even know if that still exists. I’m still sure some version does. A million-dollar is probably not a big deal in life insurance. The whole idea of Million Dollar Round Table was you sat down with colleagues in your industry.

They did the same thing you did and knock on the same doors you knocked on. They sold the same product you sold but you had a couple of guys in every area of the country that was incredibly successful. You had a bunch of other guys who were doing okay and you had a bunch of other guys who were doing nothing. They weren’t at those meetings. The guys who were doing stuff were at those meetings, interestingly enough.

Prayer is when you talk to the Almighty. Meditation is when you shut up and listen. Share on X

When we would go to those MDRT meetings, people would share some of what they were doing. If you were sitting there and looking at your cell phone and a guy was one of my mentors in the life insurance business. When he talks, you listen. When Joe Gandolfo will talk, you listen. Ben Feldman talks, you listen, and any other productive person, you listen because what they shared with you, they weren’t sharing for you. They were sharing their experience.

You took their experience and you apply it in your business. All of a sudden, you sold more. You closed a sale that you did with one of the strategies that they gave. You weren’t going to get that if you did not listen. Keith mentioned Dale Carnegie. They have great Dale Carnegie courses that have taught so many people. It’s funny because I was listening to Keith say that and my son, Nancie’s nephew, Fred, is coming to me daily and saying, “Dad, I need to learn how to make money. Where do I start?”

We are in the middle of a million different things going on. We could spend five minutes together here and there. After he said that, “The second season Hockey over in February. I’m going to put him in Dale Carnegie course.” Why? I’m his dad. Whatever I say, he is only going to half-listen or be looking at his phone. I will ask him to leave his phone in the car and I will go to the Dale Carnegie course with him if need be, so he can hear some other people.

Once again, listening, all of a sudden something happens up here in his gray matter. You go, “That’s a great idea. Let me use that here and there. Be it to my business or personal life.” The same with hopefully all of you reading. Nancie, we will go ladies first on this. Was there a time that you listened and heard something that turned into an opportunity that you capitalized be it in business, personally or whatever you want to share? Keith, the same question for you when Nancie is done.

Absolutely and it had to do with my transition. I was running a technology training company. It was listening to what people needed out of that training that launched me into my whole organizational change management career. It was huge. Not that I ever abandoned my roots. I’m still a teacher. I consider myself a teacher. I value that tremendously but it was in understanding what people felt they weren’t necessarily getting from going and sitting in a training class alone. There is more.

I wanted to be the more. I wanted to bring alongside it training and education. It’s a huge component of organizational change management. Think OCM but we can’t educate people and expect change to happen. That was an important transposition. I’m glad I listened. Just like I didn’t listen to the people who told me to not go into the computer industry when I’ve first got the offer from Xerox. Hopefully, that’s a good example of an opportunity.

Many years ago, a friend who I call a friend and wanted to share something with me. I wasn’t looking. I didn’t want to look. I was busy. I have a lot of other things going on at the time but because they were a friend and I went and I “listened.” From listening, it has made a huge difference in our lives and thousands of other people because we listened. That is so important. The other thing that is important is most of us with our listening skills have developed them to the point that we listen to people with tragedy.

It’s almost like misery loves company. That’s what we want to listen to people. We only want to listen to people when if it’s a tragedy situation or a stressful situation or whatever we seem to listen but we don’t seem to listen well celebrating their success or something went well and they want to share that. We don’t seem to listen well to that. Personally, that’s when I have gotten the most of those relationships and everything else was when things were going well.

LNC 49 The Art of Listening | Art Of Listening

Art Of Listening: People like to listen when someone has a story about tragedy, almost like misery loves company. People need to learn how to listen when it’s about celebrating someone’s success.


It’s good to know the things that don’t work are gone bad, so you don’t have to replicate it but it is as important and more so as to what people are doing well. That’s important. I want to encourage everybody. As Nancie was talking about that communication, one of the things that you notice with farmers and it doesn’t matter, whether they are your local farmer, gardener or somebody that farms thousands of acres. You will see a farmer and the comment that’s always made is, a farmer walks the fields.

You would have a field of the crop, get out and walk the field. You weren’t looking, you were listening as to what those crops were telling you. If you’ve got houseplants, they are trying to talk to you. You want to listen. Once again, this listening is so important and touches on so many things just like my friend in Las Vegas. He listened because a friend of his had a business. They have been friends for a number of years. When Gene took over the Sotheby’s Real Estate Agency in Las Vegas, he called his friend and he says, “I need an 800 number.”

About two hours later, the gentleman calls him back and he says, “Gene, I found a number for you. It’s $2,500 to buy the number.” Gene says, “$2,500 for the number?” He goes, “Yes.” Gene says, “What is it?” He goes, “I’m not telling you but it’s $2,500. Here is the point. If you don’t want it after you buy it, I will buy it from you for the $2,500.” My friend’s real estate office in Las Vegas, Nevada is one 1-800 Sothebys. They had not taken that number. When he ran the first newspaper ad or business card that he was doing back when he first took it over. When you see his signs, it’s 1-800 Sotheby’s. 1-800 Sotheby’s rings into his office in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When you dial 1-800 Sotheby’s out of New York, it rings into his office. He refers that caller to another Sotheby’s office in Las Vegas. He gets paid 1% of the sale because it came through his office 1-800 Sotheby’s. Once again, there are a lot of things that are out there but you’ve got to be open. You’ve got to be listening for success. Not to the point where, “Misery loves company, and we are just only listening to people because things are terrible. Listen to the people that are having success and are joyful that things are going on. They’ve got things to share with you that are probably going to be much more impactful to your life.

What opportunities are you missing by not being a good listener? I know I’m going to be listening better in 2022 because sometimes, I don’t hear because I love to talk. Anthropologically, we don’t talk as much as women. Women use 7,000 words a day. Men are supposed to use 2,000, but I’ve got things mixed up somewhere along the line. I’m about 8,000 words for a guy. I love to talk. It made very successful. I tell my wife all the time and she said, “Would you shut up and listen? When I stop talking, you stop eating.”

On the other hand, what am I missing? Think of that opportunity, whether it’s the clockmaker in Scotland or his buddy, Gene, in Vegas. What opportunities are you costing yourself by not listening? If you are in our industry, direct selling, there are a lot of people looking for what you have. If you are too busy with verbal garbage or looking at your cell phone, you are not paying attention to that human being, and that human being wants your attention and warrants it.

As Nancie said about renting fifteen minutes of space in that person’s brain, for you to get that, they’ve got to feel like you want to have a relationship with them. You want to communicate with them. It’s very difficult to do. First of all, let me thank both of my guests, Dr. Celini and Keith Hooper. What are we going to be doing after this? Now, we are getting into the Christmas season. I know most of you celebrate. Some people don’t. If you do, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa. Happy birthday to those of you whose birthday is this month.

I have a background in teaching people about debt reduction. I may have been the innovator of network marketing. In 1991, I started teaching a course on it in Canada, on people, on reducing debt. I brought that down here to Dallas. A company that I worked with used it to their advantage and became a very large company. A lot of other people took credit for my work, frankly. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is people benefited from the work that we all did on it. I’m going to be teaching some concepts. We will have that episode up on Debt on December 21st, 2021.

It’s important going into 2022. I’m not Dave Ramsey. Dave is good at what he does. He studies it a lot more than I do but for our industry, I can give you some basic fundamental things that you can start in 2022 to retire some debt, so you don’t come out of 2022 like coming out of 2021. On December 28th, 2021, our good friend, Joe Garcia. He is the top earner in his company, a long-term industry leader, legend, icon, and great human being as well. He has volunteered to go through a free book that he has on the manifestation of your dreams.

I’m going to be interviewing Joe on that book and his work. That’s the perfect segue going into 2022. Joe is going to help you to set your goals for 2022. I want to thank both of you once again. These interviews have been great. We have been getting some great feedback. I was at an event and a lot of people are reading. A lot of people reading and I didn’t even know that they read until they tell me that they read and they are a fan of the show. We are going to keep this going through 2022.

We are going to give people as much content as we can on network marketing but on other skills because network marketing is a microcosm of the macrocosm of your life. What you do in network marketing is what you do with your kids, neighbors, other parents at the little league field or PTA. These are important skillsets that we are hopefully helping you to develop. Thank you for your time. Thank you both. Thank you all for reading.


Important Links:

About Dr. Nancie Celini

Public health, research, information systems technologist / system analyst, educator and organizational change management professional with more than thirty years of experience helping organizations evaluate, assess and implement enterprise information management and research systems used in the conduct of clinical trials, academic research and product development activities in regulated environments.



About Keith Hooper

Experienced Family Office Risk Taker with a demonstrated history of working in the collaborative start up industry. Skilled in Sustainability, GreenEnergy, Sales, Public Speaking, Start-up Management, Leadership, and Marketing. Strong administrative professional who graduated from Colgate University with a double major in Economics and Music (with honors).