Often, it’s the simple things we forget and it’s those same simple things that can make the biggest impact on our lives.
“Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf”.
Native American Indian Proverb
I remember when my wife and I had our first child. We were so scared that we’d mess up, that we read books and found all kinds of advice about being good parents. We did this for a long time until we realized that it was all up to us now. We were going to use a little of what we learned, from the sources we trusted most. But, one of the lessons we learned was so valuable that I kept it etched into my brain. I’ll probably never forget, even though sometimes I fail to heed it. It’s the importance of Sincere Listening.
Sincere Listening is what I call it, because it’s not just about hearing someone. It’s about intuitively, thoughtfully, and patiently listening to another person in a caring and focused manner.
I learned this over many years but it never really sank in until we had our daughter. I remember when she was a baby and I was trying to figure out what she needed. So, here’s the story.
One day, I heard her crying and I went to see what she needed. She was in her crib and so I did the first thing all parents do. I checked to see if she needed to be changed. Nope. That wasn’t it.
So I tried humming a song to her. She slowed her crying and I thought it was going to work. Nope….wrong again.
So I tried grabbing a toy or two and pushing them at her and animated one of her stuffed animals. That too worked for a minute, but then failed miserably.
I thought that maybe she was teething, so I went to the refrigerator and got a water filled teething ring. I thought the cold might help, but I still had no idea what was wrong with her.
Then I gave her some juice.
After many attempts to “fix” her, I gave up, picked her up and held her. With her head on my chest, she was asleep in seconds.
As I sat down with her, feeling such love for her, I began to think. Why hadn’t I noticed what she needed?
I was so quick to try things to fix the situation; I completely missed her arms stretched out to me. I didn’t listen.
You see, babies communicate even though they don’t talk. Grown people do too. The problem is that many grown people don’t say what they mean. Many times, grown people say things with other motives behind them. Maybe they’re trying to shield themselves from a pushy salesperson. Maybe they’re trying to protect themselves from getting hurt, or they’re trying to manipulate someone. So, listening is more then hearing. It’s Sincere Listening that catches body language and puts things into context.
Why am I writing about this?
Because it’s just as important for me to listen to my salespeople as it is for you to listen to your team, clients, your friends, and your family.
It’s extremely important for a leader to use this lesson.
You see, 1st Choice Family Solutions can develop new products and services, think up new ideas, marketing materials, new pay plans, better compensation, instructional videos, and many other enhancements. But, we should not do all of that, thinking it will work to increase production, without also reaching out and listening to what the sales force needs and what the public needs. All we need is to know what will best help families, motivate and support our sales force to be more productive, and make sure those services are needed in the market. We need to do all the other things, but listening will show us the key to removing barriers and making everything easier.
I want a culture that gives each of our team members an opportunity to help grow the kind of company they’ll never have to leave. The kind of company built by them and designed by them. Not some old or cold organization with rules that don’t make sense. Unlike some, I don’t want to relive 1975.
How many of you have had a pretty good thing going with a company who messed it all up by placing a quota on you, or didn’t pay you team overrides until you sold or bought a certain amount of product? Does that make any sense? Do you think the salespeople had any say in making rules like that?
The answer is NO. They didn’t. It was done to increase the company’s revenue through forced internal consumption. It makes millionaires of the top brass, but leaves the sales force rummaging around trying to make a living.
1st Choice Family exists to help families, and that’s how we’ll make our money. Together we’ll grow, and together we’ll prosper. Only in numbers, with a common mission and passion, will we succeed in providing a serious opportunity to the entire country. An opportunity that pays great, feels great, and helps the masses in a big way.
I want you to consider really listening to your clients. I mean, sit down and really dig into their situation. Care about your clients. They are people with children, families, and friends, just like you and me. They have real problems that need real attention. So, give all of your attention to them when you’re speaking with them. Don’t think about the product or commission. Think about the people. Then, the product or service they need will present itself.
Don’t get caught up in politics or what your friends are doing. Seek something bigger than yourself. Something you can believe in and that makes you get up in the morning.
first published: my1stchoicefamily.com/2010/04/16/sincere-listening/