The courage to listen sounds beautiful.
If only we'd just take some time to listen,
our lives would be better.
The web is filled with listening success stories:
People listened to what
their customers wanted - and the money rolled in.
Pick Up Artists
to improve their dating life.
Websites stalk visitors with pop up chat boxes:
It's a big movement -find out what people are thinking.
They study the human mind in a cage,
finding weaknesses to probe.
Ways to pull people along,
increase curiosity and get what they want.
Human lives become profit points
on graphs to present at their next mastermind.
Like fishing expeditions beaming with pride at their new catch
dangling on the hook. Those fish never saw it coming.
Listening in some circles is the new mouse trap.
And people are the mice.
This can bring us to a crossroads
of intentions and motives.
An intention can be an action taken.
A motive can be your driving force.
That sounds so horrible, right?
What's wrong with helping people get what they want?
Helping people can be a caring act.
Once it's intertwined with someone else's plans, things can change.
A doctor listens to patient describe her symptoms.
Then a prescription is written.
A doctor prescribing medicine
to help people heal can be helpful.
A doctor looking for ways to increase
prescriptions to get paid,
may not be.
An Amazon review can be helpful
if someone really shared what they felt.
A review just to drive up sales may not be.
Some people buy followers for different reasons.
Those reasons may not be listed on an empathy map.
This leads us to motives.
The point at which someone
decides they are going to connect to another person.
People look at honesty and dishonesty
through a very plain lens.
As long as I mean well, that's all that counts, right?
So you can sell something that people need.
And your smile on the video is fantastic.
But listening is not only for money or achievement.
It is not a blunt instrument.
Listening to what people want sounds great.
It doesn't sound like it has any negative parts for you, right?
But that is one sliver of what listening can be.
If you're only listening to extract money from someone,
the quality of your listening may be compromised.
You know the phrase "leaving money on the table"?
Like that's the most horrible thing in the world?
It's OK to leave money on the table.
It's called a tip. :)
Are you also trying to hear
what you don't want to hear?
I'm not talking about customer service scripts
where you help unhappy customers.
Or stick strategies in membership programs.
Or surfing Amazon for 1 star reviews
so you can take advantage
and solve their complaints in a profitable way.
Here are some reasons why
people don't like listening:
- It might change something you don't want changed.
- It takes time to stop and listen.
- You might have to do something over again.
- You might find someone is unhappy with you personally.
- You'll get bad news like a bad medical diagnosis.
- You're not going to get what you want.
Listening was great when someone was writing you a check.
Listening can also be like a bill you have to pay.
Think of listening like certified mail.
When you send someone certified mail and they sign for it,
now they have to acknowledge getting it.
You have written proof.
Someone has to tell you something
and if you acknowledge it,
you're on the clock.
So not listening can be
a way of protection and avoidance.
If someone tells you that they're not happy,
you might change the subject.
If they tell you they're not happy with you,
you might point to something they did wrong
and push it back on them.
You might stall and ask for more clarification.
You might say there is a misunderstanding.
You might be a part of what's
called "diffusion of responsibility"
and muddy the waters by
pointing to other people
and other factors it could be.
Notice how when there's money to be made,
people are falling all over themselves
to find out what their list wants?
Are you that interested
to know about the trouble spots
in the rest of your life?
You may not want to hear the answers.
The reasons why you listen
determine what you hear.
One way to show you:
Write down the 3 people
in your life who are closest to you.
What are personal subjects
that are hard to talk about
with each person?
I'm not talking about current events.
I'm talking about things in your shared past
that just bringing it up can start a fight.
Things that are unresolved but you stopped
talking about it to keep the "peace."
Compare the "I LOVE listening" dance to those iron doors.
That's the disparity. That's the gap.
By showing you areas where it's hard for you to listen,
it's easier to see why others find it hard too.
Everyone has areas that are pain points.
When you market to people, what flows with ease from you
can be a deeply held shame for your prospect.
So when they open up to you,
remember how much your listening
may mean to them.
You could be their last hope.
No pressure there, right?
Just someone's life
hanging in the balance.
But other than that,
no big deal. :)
These are things I try to weigh when I write.
I'm not there in the room with you when you're reading this.
So I have to listen as closely as I can in every possible way.
Here's the most important part - there's things I miss daily.
Even with all the tech at my fingertips.
So all communication with any human being
starts with me listening as a flawed person.
So much easier to listen closely
when you can admit you're missing stuff all the time.
Any changing market had signs
that were visible long before you saw them.
There are things you're not yet ready to talk about.
But you feel them strongly.
That's your common ground
with everyone you meet.
Listen for the life on the line.
Because it is.