Steve Jobs was the most astonishing business speaker of his time. Bill Gates once called him a “wizard” who “cast spells” on his audience. Fortune magazine proclaimed that his keynotes could set “hardened hearts aflutter.” Jobs is one of the few CEOs whose presentations have a dedicated Wikipedia page; his keynotes alone could spark a surge in Apple’s stock.
During an argument a few months ago, my husband, John, accused me of being a bad listener. “Who, me?” I thought. “I interview people for a living—all I do is listen!” Later, after I calmed down, I remembered that John is actually a pretty reasonable and insightful guy—if he says he’s not feeling listened to, maybe it really is me. So, for a second opinion, I texted someone who has known me for a really long time: “John says I don’t listen. Am I hard to talk to?” Her response: “You can be, yes. Love, Mom.” And there you have it. I quit arguing and asked some experts for help. Here’s the advice that has really resonated with me. Think you don’t need it? Read on anyhow—you may be surprised.