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“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” – Larry King
The quote by Larry King is a powerful reminder of the importance of active listening in the process of learning and self-improvement. Larry King, the former host of the popular talk show “Larry King Live” understood the importance of listening and how it helps to understand people and their stories. He conducted over 60,000 interviews during his career as a journalist and television host and it helped him to learn a lot about human nature and the world.
One of the most recognized broadcasters in America, Larry King (1933-2021) was awarded with two Peabody Awards for Excellence in broadcasting and two CableACE Award for Best Interviewer and for Best Talk Show Series. He has had a long and successful broadcasting career from 1985 to 2010, and hoested sit-downs with many U.S. Presidents.
Larry King was born in 1933 in New York City, and began his career in the 1950s as a radio host. He went on to host a variety of television shows and interview programs, including “The Larry King Show,” “Larry King Live,” and “Politicking with Larry King.” Throughout his career, King interviewed a wide range of guests, from world leaders and celebrities to everyday people with compelling stories.
Years before hosting CNN’s Larry King Live, King was a high school graduate who lost interest in school when his father died. To help support his mother and fulfil his dream of becoming a broadcaster, he went to Miami after a CBS staff announcer informed him of the growing media market in Florida. Invariably, he experienced initial setbacks but was later hired by a radio station in Miami to clean up and perform miscellaneous talks. Determined to catch a break, he persevered until one of their announcers quit and the manager decided to put him on air on May 1, 1957.
One of Larry King’s greatest strengths as an interviewer, as we may expect, was his ability to listen. He had a talent for asking the right questions and allowing his guests to speak freely and openly. He was also known for his ability to put his guests at ease, making them feel comfortable enough to share personal and often sensitive information.
Larry King’s approach to interviewing was rooted in his belief that everyone has a story worth hearing. He was always interested in the human element of a story, and was never afraid to ask the difficult questions. His ability to listen actively and ask the right questions helped him to gain the trust of his guests and extract meaningful insights from them.
Listening is an essential skill that allows us to learn, grow and understand the world around us. It’s not just about hearing words but truly understanding the context, the emotions, and the meaning behind them. Larry King’s career serves as a reminder of how much can be gained by simply listening and being open to learning.
Here are three further quotations relevant to the one above:
“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” – Henry David Thoreau
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.” – Ralph Nichols
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” – Eugene Kennedy
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