Clive [Barker] took me aside. He said, “When we were talking, you were getting louder and louder.”
I had been. It was a noisy bar. And I’d had important things to say and huge opinions and dammit, I was determined to be heard.
He said, “Neil, don’t do that. If you get loud, everyone else gets louder to top you. And then everyone’s shouting and nobody’s listening. If you want everyone to listen to you, get quieter. People will listen.”
It seemed like the strangest advice I’d ever received. But I loved and respected Clive, so the next time I was in a bar argument/conversation, I lowered my voice. And the more I wanted to be heard the quieter I forced myself to get. I lowered my voice…
And people lowered theirs. They leaned in. They listened. I didn’t have to raise my voice.
I felt like I’d been given one of the keys to the universe."