It truly amazes me how often in too many businesses there is such an aversion to sincerely asking people (employees, customers, suppliers, vendors, et al) what they think. During my 35 year professional career, I have witnessed countless missed opportunities to gain insight and powerful information in business because someone did not stop and ask "What Do You Think?" Or if they did ask, they "listened" but did not "hear" what the person said. Although many people and businesses tout their ability to "listen," I want to know the more important attribute of whether they also have the ability to "hear."

A reference to Henry David Thoreau was made in one of my business advisory boards while I was facilitating the meeting and asking each business owner there - "What Do You Think?" and then further stating how interested I was in what they thought and how important it was to me. Recently I discovered the source and actual quote from Thoreau and want to share that with you.

In "Life Without Principle," Henry David Thoreau stated .. "The greatest compliment that was ever paid to me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. I am surprised, as well as delighted, when this happens, it is such a rare use he would make of me as if he were acquainted with the tool"

There is tremendous power in asking people what they think. If one is sincere and not only listens to, but also hears the reply. Why not amaze and delight someone today while conducting your business and ask them - "What Do You Think?" and be prepared to receive some insightful and powerful information to help you and your business.

If you would like to learn more about the power of asking questions and asking what people think, and learning how to listen and hear what they say, please contact Glenn Ebersole through his website at or by email at

Author's Bio: 

J. Glenn Ebersole, Jr. is a multi-faceted professional, who is recognized as a visionary, guide and facilitator in the fields of business coaching, marketing, public relations, management, strategic planning and engineering. Glenn is the Founder and Chief Executive of two Lancaster, PA based consulting practices: The Renaissance Group, a creative marketing, public relations, strategic planning and business development consulting firm and J. G. Ebersole Associates, an independent professional engineering, marketing, and management consulting firm. He is a Certified Facilitator and serves as a business coach and a strategic planning facilitator and consultant to a diverse list of clients. Glenn is also the author of a monthly newsletter, “Glenn’s Guiding Lines – Thoughts From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach” and has published more than 275 articles on business.