As a theater major in college at Northwestern University many years ago, I got the gig of playing a hostile pregnant woman for medical students. They would come in and try to deal with me, and then I would critique them on their bedside manner. I did this with great zeal and had an excellent time playing the part.
But the most fascinating element of this experience was that the medical students were so fixated on my numbers and charts that they let the medical information get in the way of connecting with me as their “patient.” I couldn’t feel comfortable with my “doctors” because they weren’t talking to me, they were talking at me. It reminded me how important LISTENING really is.
Doctors can literally prevent lawsuits by listening well and making sure their patients are at ease with them. That’s because no amount of skill will erase the fact that doctors have to deal with real PEOPLE.
There are so many ways to lead and guide others. If you’re the CEO of a company, and you take the time to really get to know your employees, they’ll actually give you more. You’ll get more effort, passion, and commitment.
And if you want to create relationships where people trust you to show guidance and leadership, having those social conversations and taking the time to listen to people and get to know them is super important. How often do you ask coworkers or colleagues about their lives? I’m talking about checking in with people you work with on a human level. You’ve got to ask them about their lives outside of work, or their families.
Furthermore, think about how you feel when people in professional settings show that they care about you as a human being, beyond your performance at work, and ask you about your life. Isn’t it distinct, when people are curious, and actually listen to you? It makes a difference, every time.
You see, the world needs us to feel good when we work together – and listening is the easiest way to get there. For more on how to do this effortlessly, grab my free eBook on the subject.
Trust me on this – people trust you more when you listen to them. Everyone wants to feel understood, and when you provide that, it’s a distinct experience for everyone who gets to be in your presence.
When did listening make the difference for you?