Friday, 9 September 2011

What Does Listening Have To Do With Bettering The Economy?

Do you alter truth to fit your reality? Or do you alter your reality to fit truth?  As a business owner, I have listened to countless perspectives from people who think that I have the inside scoop on reality.  Most people either accept everything I say: after all, I must, I'm a business owner: or they spite my comments suggesting, 'what do you know...your in it for yourself'.  Blogging is cool, because I can cut through the gloss and articulate my position. 
I was encouraging an employee recently who was struggling with viewing complex problems as either right or wrong, true or untrue.  I shared, "what if your manager is not 'declaring reality' but only offering his 'best guess'?"  This was critical for this young man, due to offenses being picked up each time the view did not fit into his 'box'.  I encouraged him to abandon his perceptive of reality and try to simply hear another point of view without tying it to your emotions and experiences...just listen.  The feedback from this employee was incredible.  He indicated he is on much better terms with his manager (affirmed independently from the managers feedback) and is realizing that anothers' best guess or best opinion does not mean they are 'declaring reality', rather, simply trying their best to figure stuff out...while remaining open to alternate points of view.

I think it would do the economy well if we Canadians became a people that inquired more, and declared less: and here's why:

1. Inquiring opens the door to alternate positions/perspectives and others perceive us as listeners.  Customers pay us to listen, then solve problems.
2. Declaring your point makes alternate perspectives difficult to be heard: Customers nod to your 'state of affairs' and find someone who will listen.
3. Fellow suppliers/employees are often valued when you simply hear their perspective.
4. It opens the door to conversations.

My experience, is that I am typically not open to other relevant points of view when I am insecure, or comparing myself in a negative way.  I mention this as a big deal because as a business owner, I admit that I have made poor decisions, squandered cash and wasted time as a result of my insecurity driving a 'closed minded' position.  I encourage you today, open yourself up to other relevant perspectives in your work place..and don't be so tied to your ideas. This allows you to forfeit human nature's call to bend reality to your truth.  Achieving this victory will position you to align your reality with truth.  When we do this, good things happen.  Have a fantastic day.

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