Whether you’re trying to negotiate or influence another person or just motivate them to do something more or differently, at some point you’re going to need to stop talking and hear their side of the issue.

You can’t learn if you’re talking. And it’s next to impossible to force new behavior or agreement without engaging the other side.

What stood out for me was not how hard it was for the participants to use the skill but rather the insight that they couldn’t use it if they weren’t present. Being there fully in the moment is what is required of us sometimes. And when we are 100% focused on the other person, instead of thinking about what we’ll say next, we can create powerful moments of rapport and authentic relationships.

Listen to Learn means being able to reflect rather than react to what is being said. It creates a pause in the rhythm of the conversation and an opportunity to wait for the other person to fill it.

Retail is a crazy, noisy, all-in industry. We love it. We also know how important it is to connect with your partners and resources. What do you do to “Be there” for them 100% during a conversation? Share your thoughts here or @mohrretail.


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.