I have teaching a lot of classes this month, 25 in all! At the end of each class, and as a parting tidbit of inspiration, I share a story about the power of listening. It goes something like this.
Imagine you went to your favorite coffee shop. And imagine that you noticed someone you admire a great deal standing in line. You muster up the courage to walk up to that person and you say:
Imagine that he or she says "yes" and you sit down at a small cafe table. As he or she speaks, you listen with great intent because you think this person is amazing. You notice how their eyes sparkle and how their lips move and you do not get distracted. The rest of the world fades into the background.
Imagine what it must feel like to be listened to in this way - to feel the admiration and undivided attention of another person.
What if every now and then you listened to your employees in a manner that made them feel as though you thought they were amazing. Your employees are amazing, by the way - we are all amazing in some way.
People rise to the level of our expectations and if we listen to people as though they are amazing, they will do amazing things.
We have the power to make a significant difference in how people see and approach their work through how we listen to them. Give it a try. It does not take a lot of time.
And this works at home, too. When was the last time you showed your significant other - by the way to listened to him or her - that you thought he or she was amazing?