1. Listening is not the same as waiting to speak. It isn't nodding your head. It is being able to restate what the person said so that they know that you were listening.
2. Context matters. Just because you are an expert about one thing, doesn't mean that you are an expert in how that one thing relates to all things. Where you stand, your perspective, is just that your perspective. Respect your perspective, don't worship it.
3. Other people's context matters. Being influenced by a wide diversity of perspectives, broadens and deepens your own perspective. Build relationships with the widest possible collection of people. Your network should represent your curiosity, not your insecurities.
4. Real world experience matters. But it doesn't mean that you understand your experience. If you are not testing your ideas against experience, and your experience against other people's ideas, how can you say you are an expert? It is safer to think of yourself as a one learner among billions rather than the one expert among them.
5. IMHO isn't. Saying, "Here's what I think. What about you?" is.
6. Asking questions isn't doubting, but learning. Questions reveal truth. Questions reveal whether someone's ideas are clear, coherent, intellectually honest and have some connection to the way the world actually works. Develop strong BS filters by learning to ask hard questions.
7. Be careful of people who prohibit questions because you don't understand their "system."
8. Thinking something doesn't mean you know it. Just because a thought is in your head, doesn't mean you understand it, can explain it or apply it to someone's context. The quickest way to discover whether you understand your thoughts is to say them out loud. Verbalizing ideas is the shortest route to understanding what you really think.
9. Practice reveals character. Before opening your mouth, and revealing how poorly thought out your ideas are, write them down, stand in front of a mirror and say them, or find someone who will listen and give you honest advice.
10. Never give a new presentation in front of an audience of strangers. Find someone who will listen and critique it first. Fix, then practice, practice, practice.
11. People's experience with you is more important than your ideas. Reverse that. Your ideas are only as good as the emotional experience that people have with them. Integrity and authenticity, not manipulation, are the keys to aligning your ideas with your audience's emotions. You must know your own emotions related to your ideas if you want to elicit authentic emotions from your audience.
12. Be your own BEST critic, not worst. Think for yourself. Don't be an expert on one thing. Be an expert of how many things are connected to your one thing. Don't accept someone's "informed" opinion as "completely and absolutely the last word." Read, study, ask questions, form your opinions, test them, practice them, write them down, speak about them from the heart and do this everyday. In the end, you won't know more than anyone else. However, you will know what you don't know, and that will make the difference that matters.