The power of curiosity and listening are two of the greatest gifts we can give and receive. Showing people how we show up and listen is such a beautiful way to build and cultivate new relationships and strengthen ones already made. As an entrepreneur, each day is an opportunity to connect, learn, and listen to others. What a gift!
Recently, I connected with a fantastic guy named Matt Miller through our association with Limitless Minds as we both are coaches/speakers on their Room Tilter team. It was immediately apparent that we were cut from the same cloth and were very curious to learn about one another. He shared the work he did as an elementary principal and the programs he built for the Steven Covey organization. He also has provided many keynote presentations for companies on leadership. Matt’s story of success was very inspiring. He finally got me to stop asking questions, and I was able to share a bit about my journey as a B2B seller & leader for 20 years, which lead to my journey as an author, podcaster, coach, and speaker.
Next, our conversation moved into parenthood and the stories of coaching youth sports and doing our best to inspire our kids and kids around us. We both love sports, not only professional and college, but marks for our children too. We love helping kids achieve what is possible, and going through the difficult times can be some of the best learning possible for them. The conversation shifted to a real learning moment I wanted to share with you.
As we all navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, we will continue to have good and bad days. How do we do our best to stay neutral when things aren’t going as well as possible to focus on finding the positive?
Matt and his son were having a conversation recently where his son was quite frustrated. As Matt shared, his son came into the room and vented some of his frustrations. Matt just listened and didn’t advise or try to persuade. His son left the room and then came back and vented all of his frustrations again. Matt attended once more and didn’t try to persuade, coach, or advise. His son left the room and came back for the 3rd time and vented his frustrations again and said, “Dad, what do you think I should do? Can you please help me?” Wow! I don’t know about you, but this was one of those great learning reminders that I wanted to share with you. Whether in business or with your own family, how often have we found ourselves in a situation where we quickly react to help solve a problem before genuinely listening and understanding the issue at hand? Are we curious enough, or do we just want to provide a solution to a problem that we don’t quite understand yet?
There were times throughout this challenging round that I wanted to jump in to save the day, but I reminded myself that it’s his journey, not mine.
The timing of my interaction with Matt couldn’t have come at a better time as my son and I went golfing this past weekend. He is 14 years old and has taken great strides this past year to improve his golf game. For the golfers out there, we know one thing that is true about golf: IT’S HARD! No matter if you’re one handicap or a 30 handicap, golf will always humble you when you’re most likely not ready for it. My son experienced golfs challenges this past weekend, and it was an excellent test for me to let him share his frustration before I came to his rescue. There were times throughout this challenging round that I wanted to jump in to save the day, but I reminded myself that it’s his journey, not mine. The learning is always in the struggle. After this challenging round of golf, he asked me for some advice, and we worked through some things to focus on for the next time out. I reminded him of some good news. A bad day of golf only needs to last for one day because the next time out is a brand new day and an opportunity to get better and create new positive experiences. This same mindset is also something for all of us to remember in the game of life. Each day, we are all given 1,440 minutes, and it’s up to us to use them how we choose to. My son loved that advice and quickly realized that this bad day was out of his control, and it was time to move on.
It is now your turn to share with me a story of listening. How did Matt’s ability to listen inspire you to handle a situation differently? How will you show up to each relationship we have in our lives? Will you be curious? Will you truly listen before offering guidance to solve a problem? Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think.