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Episode #51: Listening

When we speak, we’re trying to think about what we want to say, and we hear less about what other people are saying. But how do you flip that switch to listening in a way that helps you truly connect with your employees or bosses? I’m going to share some strategies in today’s podcast that will help you realize that listening is more than simply being quiet.


How can you listen more? How can you get comfortable and sit there when someone wants to tell you a long story? The goal is to get you to listen more. Maybe it’s an employee that has a problem and you don’t know what the solution is. This week I’m challenging you to listen to them without solving the problem just to strengthen your listening skills.


Your Call to Action: Listen. That’s it. Just sit there and listen. Sit in a meeting and listen without offering your ideas.


It sounds so simple, but it’s not. It’s going to be hard.


I would love to hear you share your insights with me. Please connect with me on my website, and sign up to get my weekly newsletter and podcast.

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Hello and welcome to episode number fifty-one of the Strategy Corner, where our goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michel Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. Today’s strategy is all about listening. I don’t know about you guys, but I used to be always the person in meetings who thought I needed to solve all the problems. That I need to jump in really quickly, ask my questions, give a solution and be the one who, you know, everyone was looking to right away to figure out what was going on. And through my growth and my development throughout the many years now over 21 years in business, I’ve realized that listening is actually the key. So I used to be the person who spoke all the time. Now I’m more the person who listens. And the reason why I listen is because I’ve realized that there’s a lot more to listening than just what we think. And when we want to speak right away, in our brains we’re thinking about what we want to speak about and so thus we’re not listening to the person that’s in front of us.


Now, I’m sharing this with you today because we’re in August and there is still a lot going on and us as managers, owners and leaders within organizations have a lot to deal with. There’s still things changing. And the more that we can actually listen, the more we can be open to what people are saying, the more opportunity we have to actually connect and be seen as a thought leader within our organization and outside our organization. Now, all of this work has been a journey for me about opening up and learning how to listen. I work with a coach, Teresa, and she is all about listening, listening to create success, listening to create connection, listening to build bridges between different people who have issues. Teresa Campbell is all about listening. And I have been someone who has learned the art of slowing down and listening and not being that individual who jumps right in and solves the problem. And I’m sharing this again, because right now, in these times and really at all times, the way that we can connect with our employees, the way we can connect with our bosses is through listening.


Do you guys know of that one individual within your organization or even your friendship group who is so great at just taking things in and then says things that just really are profound? You know, that individual who’s a little bit more quiet, who’s a little bit more maybe receptive to what people say, doesn’t, like, cut them off right away, really intentionally listens and then gives their opinion or asked more questions? Well, that’s the individual that I’ve grown to be. And it’s all been through listening. That’s been the first step to my progression into becoming the next level leadership, the next level leader, the next level owner of my own business, and coaching others.


So today the goal is to get you to listen more. The goal is for you to talk with someone who is talking about something that possibly is something you don’t agree with. Maybe it’s an employee who has a problem and all you can think about is how busy you are. I challenge you to just listen. You don’t have to have the answer. And this is what’s so great about this whole listening concept, is that you can totally listen. You know, someone might just want to come in and tell you for 50 minutes what their problems are and you could just listen. That’s it. Sometimes you just listen and then that person just gets up and walks away and you’re like, OK, well, I guess that’s all that needed to happen. The main thing for connection is listening and slowing down and being with the person. So I’m going to share over the next couple podcasts things that will help you to connect with your employees, with your children, with your spouse. But the first one that I wanted to touch on is listening because it means that much to me and I feel like it is the most important.


OK, so listening is key. So the question is, how can you listen more? How can you get comfortable and sit there when someone wants to tell you a whole story for 20 minutes? How can you? I know for me it’s been a practice. In the beginning, when I first intentionally began listening, I get really uncomfortable my chair, I might get fidgety, I might start in my brain worrying about all the things I need to do. I might get up, walk around. And then as I’ve challenged myself to sit there and just be with that person and listen, I’ve become more comfortable. But in the beginning, it’s going to be hard. You’re going to want to jump out of your skin. You’re going to want to get up and leave. But the reality is, is that we need to sit there. We need to listen. We need to connect. We just need to be with the person and see what happens.


So your call to action this week is to listen. That’s right. Just listen. Sit with the person in front of you. Sit with your employees. Sit with your boss. Be in a meeting and don’t say a word, just listen. That would be really fun, actually. Is to go into a meeting where you normally would be yelling out answers, solutions and just listen. Take the whole meeting and just listen and see what comes up and then leave and then think about, well, what could I say? There’s an email to follow up. Or maybe you just wait to say anything until the last minute of the meeting where you share an amazing insight and see what people say. See if anyone notices how you intentionally stood back, listened, heard what everyone had to say, and then gave your opinion or your solution.


So that’s your challenge this week. That’s your call to action. Just to listen. It sounds so simple, but I’m telling you, it’s not that simple. It’s gonna be hard, but you can do it. And then next week, I’ll share another simple strategy for being more connected with individuals and keeping focused. So when I say keeping focus, when you’re connecting, listening is keeping focused. You’re listening intently to that individual. OK, so you know where your call to action is. Just listen. And then if you can, I would love for you to share your insights and how listening helped you to see something or hear something or come up with something that you’d never have thought that you’d ever be able to do because you were so busy filling the room with your opinions that you never had time just to listen.


Now, please go to my Web site. Intentional Solutions Corp. dot com. And sign up to get my weekly newsletter that contains my latest blog and podcast. And you’re actually going to also get an addition because you go on there, put your email in. You’ll also receive an email with a PDF where you can download my seven actions to creating a productive week, which is really useful to keeping you focused and committed to getting the things done that are most important daily. That’s right. Being able to drop everything else that’s going around your head and only do the things that are most important. Until next time, remember, through action and grow with progression happens. Let’s take action together. Thank you. And create an amazing week.