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Inspired by a New Friend –  The Power of Listening

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.

Casey Jacoxhttps://www.caseyjacox.com/
Casey is a father, a husband, a friend, a coach, an author, a podcaster, and a business leader who strives to lead by example through authenticity, vulnerability, and positivity. Casey is the founder of Winning The Relationship which provides sales and leadership coaching to individual producers, teams, and sales leaders looking to take their career to the next level. Casey spent 20 years at Kforce which provides staffing and consulting services to many Fortune 500 companies. As an individual contributor, Casey was the #1 sales professional nationally for 10 consecutive years prior to moving into a strategic leadership role where he provided executive customer support. More importantly, Casey was tasked to coach high performers to get unstuck and also coach sales leaders on ways to strategically motivate and inspire their sales teams. Over his entire career, adversity has always made him stronger. As a life-long learner who is always seeking the path towards mastery, Casey is laser-focused on doing his best to always be in a growth mindset. Once you meet him, you will see how his positive attitude and curiosity inspired him to attract and build long-standing relationships – true relationships that are time tested. Casey loves to laugh and make those around him laugh. He will often tell you, “if we are not having fun, then why do we go to work?” Casey loves to empower people to achieve more than they think they are capable of. Everyone needs coaching in all aspects of our life as he believes that is where growth occurs. Casey is the author of WIN the RELATIONSHIP, not the DEAL.

7 COMMENTS

  1. There is no doubt: when we listen actively, we devote most of our resources to understanding the message that the other person wants to send us. Furthermore, we inform our interlocutor about our understanding of what he wants to tell us. It is therefore a matter of being psychologically available and attentive to the message of who is speaking to us. We need, among other things, to be empathetic and understand other people’s emotions. The complicity that arises with active listening positively influences personal relationships, creating new ones and strengthening existing ones. As is well demonstrated by your interesting history / experience.

  2. Casey, anytime I see an article on listening it perks my ears so to speak. Having been in various positions of training, presentations, public speaker, not to mention a parent and grandmother, I have wroked on the art of listening in order to give back something of value in my response. When one is not listening, you can tell, because usually they are already moving their thoughts to their mouth before you are finished speaking and if one is doing that, they are not really listening. I love your story as a great example.

    • Thank you Lynn for your thoughts! I totally agree that you can easily see and feel when people aren’t listening to you. The worst is when you are talking to someone and they are distracted by looking at their computer or their device. If we all stop for a minute and slow down, we can take the time to realize what a gift we can give to people through the art of listening.

  3. Love this story, Casey. The word “listen” or the “importance of listening” is thrown around a lot in coaching and leadership circles. I’ve come to realize that listening is not just an action, but a state of receiving. You’re allowing someone to say what they need to say and simply receive it, without judgment and without jumping in to solve.

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