One of my favorite fantasy series is the Alex Verus novels by Benedict Jacka. There are a variety of reasons why, but one of the interesting dynamics in the novel is that the main character, Alex, is continually outclassed. He operates in a world of magic users who can shoot fireballs and have other similarly fantastic powers. His only magical ability is that he can see a few seconds into the future. Other than that, he’s an ordinary human. However, he leverages his insignificant advantage again and again to overcome more formidable opponents.

The equivalent in business is listening.

Being able to understand where people are coming from and what they want doesn’t seem significant. But we all connect through the imperfect veil of communication, where our intent is eroded by how well we articulate our thoughts and how well the other party listens.

Business is inherently interpersonal. Whether it’s writing a landing page, selling a product, or dealing with a problem employee, your success is magnified or minimized by how well you understand the other person.

It pays to slow down and really try to understand.