Often, speaking involves sharing advice, as the art of conversation engages a speaker and listener(s).
Listeners filter, using categories, such as: one, I trust advice and counselor; two, I do not trust advice and counselor; three, I do not know whether to trust advice and counselor.
Over time, the listener builds a "black book" of advisers they trust, those they do not, those they are unsure. This list changes over time, as it becomes one of the many bases from which they build their life and foundation for the future. Good counsel, when heard and followed, builds a more sound foundation, and a more sound foundation builds a more sound mind.
Speakers, as they are screened into these categories, have the burden of credibility. Their ability to identify with the listener, especially through stories they tell, presentation, and encouraging deposits they've made, provide capital that builds trust with the listener. A speaker who provides a compelling story, a story that resonates with the listener, will reach deeper into his soul and perhaps change, or ensure, his name on the page of trusted advisers in the listener's book of trusted contacts.
On the flip side, each of us is often wary of the speaker that does not build trust with listeners, such as the man on the corner soapbox. We also think on times where we, as listeners, listened to poor counsel, and our own counsel was tainted with false claims. And, as life experience builds with age, we know to beware of the manipulation by the speaker to the listener, such as the case in advertising, where half-truths are shared without a comprehensive view of that which is at hand.
Listening well and speaking credibly are foundational tools for human interaction. In the next post, I want to focus on the ever present need for truth and listening not only to words, but the heart of life's counselors.