Communication is important in a genius’ private and public life. Not everyone is going to understand your ideas right away. Learning how to advocate for your work in your public life and advocate for yourself in your personal life are key. Paradoxically, acquiring listening skills not only helps you to understand others better, but has the opposite effect of opening up others to understand you. Learn assertiveness and listening and you’re well on your way to getting along with people. 

There are a handful of topics in this book that some geniuses are historically terrible at, and communication is one of them. Henry Ford was a genius at communication, however, and made it a point of his personality and business. In a world before pagers and cell phones, he even went to the trouble of having buttons installed on his desk that summoned all his primary executives, managers, and thinkers as needed. They would come to his office and he would work things out with them.  Like Ford, we can invite people into our room and exceed the communication skills of those lunkheaded geniuses we’ve heard about. 

[“Future U.S. president John F. Kennedy served as a commander of the PT-109 torpedo boat that was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. From the island on which they were marooned, Kennedy sent this message with natives Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana, scrawled on a coconut in August of 1943,  






Kennedy and his eleven men were rescued soon thereafter. Kennedy had the coconut encased in plastic and used it as a paperweight in the Oval Office.] 

There are a few habits that can get in the way of good communication. Talking fast and incessantly. (Try and remember the power of brevity in Kennedy’s “NEED SMALL BOAT”.) If your engine runs hot try and check your mania at the door during conversations. The person you’re talking to will thank you for it. If you’re enamored of yourself you can forget that you’re talking to another person altogether. Those conversations tend not to go well either so here is where a dose of humility and acknowledgement can help. Letting depression and low self-esteem sideline your point of view is just as damaging since the other person won’t know what you have to say if you’re too shy to say it. Remind yourself that you’re worth hearing and speak up enough to be heard.