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Collection: Peter Lynch - #11 'Communication and Listening'

Updated: Feb 9, 2021


Video Link: https://youtu.be/uMtfKQJxpog


In this episode, Peter Lynch was asked how much does he measure his success in his ability to communicate well?


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to talk to management of a company?

To check out all Collection: Peter Lynch <click here>

 

[Transcript]

(Source: https://charlierose.com/videos/17771#)

CHARLIE ROSE 00:00

How much do you measure your success in your ability to communicate well? Your command of the language and the facility to express ideas in a simple and comprehensible way has always been the reason your books sold well because it was good content there and secondly the way you were able to communicate and become a leader in your industry.


PETER LYNCH 00:24

You ask the question earlier about the ability to listen.


CHARLIE ROSE 00:27

Right.


PETER LYNCH 00:27

I think that's the seal. Because when you're talking about a company, if you ask all these questions, it's like a monologue. Then you say at the end, is there something I've forgotten?


You want to have them say, by the way, a year ago when you were looking to see what things were going to be like, how does it come out? What have been surprises for you?


So I'm always listening to what people say so it's more listening rather than asking and also being nice. When you go to a company they'll say last year your capital spending was $125 million, what it's going to be this year? Last year R&D was $73 million. You just don't go and say "how are you doing?"


You want to be nice but courteous.


CHARLIE ROSE 01:02

But precise.


PETER LYNCH 01:03

Precise right but you want to show you did some homework.


CHARLIE ROSE 01:05

Exactly.


PETER LYNCH 01:06

And also you don't want to use rubber hose – Don't be mean.


CHARLIE ROSE 01:09

This is like interviewing.


PETER LYNCH 01:09

You don't want to be mean, too. If the rubber hose worked I would have used it. You want to be kind.Write letters saying I enjoyed meeting with you. It was a nice interview.


People they don't – they can turn off – they have all the answers but I mean you don't have to be that nice. You see being kind and courteous – I was a Boy Scout. And be prepared.


CHARLIE ROSE 01:26

Yes be prepared exactly. I mean, it is essential to what I believe is in that you ask people things like "Did I miss something? What am I not hearing?"


PETER LYNCH 01:36

Correct.


CHARLIE ROSE 01:37

"What question have I missed here?" What you know, it's almost what I think is important. You've got to engage the person in your own pursuit.


PETER LYNCH 01:45

Right.


CHARLIE ROSE 01:46

Make them work for you.


PETER LYNCH 01:48

Yes the first time I was a metals analyst with a company Emax. Their major product was molybdenum and when I say what's the outlook from molybdenum, I couldn't even pronounce it. When I took chemistry in high school we didn't get that high on the charts.


CHARLIE ROSE 02:00

Exactly right.


PETER LYNCH 02:01

So you find out these people want to help you if you go visit them, even on the phone.


And I remember calling one company up and you get to know a person's personality. Some people are very optimistic, some people are very conservative. His tone just was not as optimistic. I found out later – I almost sold my entire position, you get that feeling –


I called him a week later and say, you know, you were just – guy said "You know, my brother was in a traffic accident about half hour before you called and I didn't know whether he was going to make it or not."


I almost sold my entire position.


CHARLIE ROSE 02:31

But you have another question to ask yes.


PETER LYNCH 02:34

I called back and I said, gee –


CHARLIE ROSE 02:35

I will sometimes call up people and say "Did I do something to make you upset or angry? Not in terms of the interview but just is there something in terms of the relationship? Am I missing something here? Did I do something that pissed you off?"


And sometimes they'll say yes. You didn't see I was over there waiting to see you and you didn't – you walked right by?


PETER LYNCH 02:54

A lot of times you're kind of interrupting people. They answer questions you just kind of my – you really have to be –


CHARLIE ROSE 02:59

Listen.


PETER LYNCH 03:00

You really have to say that I've heard enough of that but I'm not going to say interrupt. It works well.


CHARLIE ROSE 03:06

But you still use those skills. Those are human skills, aren't they?


PETER LYNCH 03:09

But they're not taught anywhere. I mean you sort have to learn. There's no book on that.

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