Harsh but true
Over the years, I’ve received copious advice which has made me a better investor. Today I wanted to share three pieces of rather direct advice which helped me make the most out of meetings.
- We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak – Epictetus
Whilst this piece of advice can come off harsh to a loquacious individual, it has certainly been one I’ve taken on board. It is particularly useful to maximise the utility of meetings. Knowledge is power and listening gives you far more data-points than talking provides. Practicing active listening can substantially increase the information you absorb in a meeting, whereas dominating a meeting will likely leave you with no new insights.
Whilst there are certainly circumstances where the need for verboseness is greater, in my experience these are outnumbered in a ratio proportional to our anatomy.
- Never ask a question if you don’t know the answer – Various
As with the prior, there is a time and a place to break this piece of advice – such as the classroom. However, one circumstance in which it should be abided is company and expert meetings. The essence of the statement goes to being prepared for a meeting. In order to focus more on what the party is saying, it is best to ask questions on things you have already researched. You can learn much from what details are omitted and how they are told than the fact itself. This also gives you a clearer read of individual biases.
- Trust but verify – Russian proverb
Whilst it would be a lot simpler if we could take information at face value, the truth is sources can often be biased, both consciously or unconsciously. Furthermore, messengers can add their own colour. A confident CEO may talk more bullishly than a cautious one, and it may be hard to calibrate where on the scale they are. Hence, it is useful to trust new information – but verify it with other sources. This adds as a way of hedging out biases and raises red flags at any inconsistencies.
What’s your favourite piece of investment advice?How can you make the most out of meetings? Lisa shares three pieces of advice. Is it true that you should never ask a question if you don't know the answer? Click To Tweet