Listen Carefully: Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.
I generally prefer to be a listener rather than a participator. I'm not a stalker (those days are long over), but I like to watch people and learn from what I see, and listen to what they have to say. I'm also very shy around those I don't know well (not to be mistaken for the aloofness that I generally project), and it's easier for me to listen, watch and learn rather to dive right in and throw out my opinions. I also think I'm not terribly interesting, and I'd rather listen to someone else talk. That's why I love blogging. It gives you a tiny, risk-free window into another world, complete with pictures.