The title of this post may be a bit inaccurate because I didn’t really learn this from Ernie Banks while he was alive. Rather, it was something that one of the people said at Ernie’s funeral; something that, thinking back on times I met Ernie, I realized was so true.
The point is this: Ernie didn’t talk about himself. Whenever you met Ernie, he would be the one asking you questions. He wouldn’t talk about what he did; he would get you to talk about you did. He wanted to know about you, not talk about himself. The amazing thing about a conversation with Ernie Banks was how much you talked and how little he talked.
In other words, when you are talking to somebody, be interested in them. Get them to talk about themselves. Get them to talk more than you do. Those are the secrets of a good conversation. And that’s what I learned from Ernie Banks.
PS I wanted to post this today in honor of the 77th birthday of Ernie's teammate, Ron Santo.