Being a Good ListenerAugust 5, 2018
Last Saturday night, my Ultimate Concierge and I enjoyed a wonderful evening at a lobster dinner party at our friend’s summer home. There were ten of us. Before dinner was served at the beautifully set table with big red lobster pots for lobster shells, mounds of seashells and another décor, our host took us down to the shoreline for a ride on his boat.
As the boat left shore, our host began to tell a story about a man, the lake and the land surrounding it. I dare say by the time we were back to shore, maybe three out of the ten listened to the fascinating story of the land and lake all made possible by the man who bought the acreage, Samuel Insull.
A Magical Night & An Even More Magical Story
The night was magical. The man-made lake was so calm you could see the reflections on the water of the homes on large parcels of land. One of the homes had belonged to Samuel Insull in the 1920s. He was the secretary of Thomas Edison and later created General Electric and the power grid that sustains major cities even today.
Insull wanted a quiet retreat to spend his weekends, so he bought up 500 acres of land outside of Chicago, built the manmade lake and sold large lots. The home our friends live in was once owned by one of Insuell’s executives.
Bobby and I happened, by chance, to walk up together to the house after the boat ride. I commented on his feelings I observed while listening.
“After listening to the emotions in your voice as you told the story, I know you respected Insull and I know how much you love this land and lake. Would you consider being the person who makes Samuel Insull’s home a historic landmark?” He did not answer. I could feel his mind taking in my message. He was listening, darlings.
Fast forward to last night. A group of us met for dinner at one of our favorite outdoor restaurants. One of the couples were our lobster hosts. After we were seated, Bobbie handed me the book on the life of S. Insull.
“Because you listened and asked me questions and put into my head the idea of making Insull’s home on our little island a historic landmark, I thought you would enjoy reading his biography.”
“Thank you, Bobby. I will enjoy this read so much,” I replied.
Bobby and I both listened to one another’s message and look at what transpired. I am smiling.
That night with lights off, I thought about the important steps Bobbie and I so innocently went through to have our pleasant outcome
Steps to Take to Be a Good Listener
Listening is RECEIVING the message, UNDERSTANDING the message, REMEMBERING the message, EVALUATING the message, and then RESPONDING to the message.
Most often, I think I am a good listener. Listening provides all of us the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of others and to learn with a deeper understanding, the pros, and cons, of another person’s beliefs and attitudes.
Listening is complex, darlings. Automatically, we usually evaluate a message in our minds and then respond, which is fine if the topic is light. I call this surface listening. However, if the message is sensitive or deep, you should listen with a critical mind, evaluate and then respond because there are all types of verbal messaging and body messaging out there.
Messages can deceive and can vary in cultural sensitivity. A message can criticize and praise or it can confirm and disconfirm. Messages can also be very assertive. In other words, darlings, we listen all day to messages that are packed full.
We have two ears and one mouth. That is the ‘real message.’ Listen!
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