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Tales from a Female VC: Listening Ears 

 September 10, 2020

By  Barbara

Minute Read

There are many conversations I have with people that do not want to do any work. They just want to waste your time. Grant it, I allow it. When you build and strategize, time is of the essence.

I got off a phone call with someone that thought they knew who I was. Didn’t care to meet me before it affected their bottom line. So we started a conversation. They had done no googling, reviewing websites or looking at linked-in. Nothing. Just wanted to chit chat to see if they could help.

We get into the conversation, and they did not want to listen. Just wanted to ramble on about what they accomplished and then when asking about me not listening. When you respond 4 or 5 times, what do you think is happening.

I listened to their questions and answered them several times. After the 3rd time of asking me the same question, I responded, “you are not listening, I’m not sure how many ways I need to answer the same question”.

Now that we’re on Zoom calls more, it is clearer from body language and intonation what is going on. Creating a relationship can occur online, I have done it many times. We need to take the offline tactics to the online world.

If we were in a physical meeting, would you be so busy trying to stare at my picture you are not paying attention to my words?

In a physical meeting, would you be busy trying to talk over me because you did not want to hear what I had to say?

If meeting in-person, would you dismiss my answers and keep repeating the same questions you asked 5 mins ago because you are not listening?

We all have to think about how we are communicating. I this person’s defence, I should have put up an agenda. That would have framed the conversation better. If you want to get to know someone in a business context over Zoom, you better do more homework on the person beforehand.

P.S. Also, do not be afraid to say your peace. If they are not listening, they might have heard that.

About the author 

Barbara

An award-winning CTO and VC Fund Manager helping entrepreneurs and investors understand emerging technology.

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