For many of us, one of the biggest challenges in our personal and professional lives is dealing with the people we’re pretty certain God put on the planet to bug us.
In fact, one of the biggest reasons we leave one network marketing to find another is because there is someone we must interact regularly with whom we simply can’t seem to get along.
We all have people who we feel so connected with it’s as if we’re telepathic. On the phone, we say the same thing at the same moment and laugh at our synchronicity. We seem to know exactly what the other is thinking and embrace every opportunity to work together, converse, or even just hang out. It’s so easy with them.
Yet we have those other people in our lives that test us (and our patience). Instead of great synchronicity, we feel as though they are the rocks to our windows. But isn’t it interesting that sometimes our biggest tests are people who matter most to us? Sometimes it’s our spouse, our partner, our son or daughter, or someone essential on our own team, and we know that if we can’t find a way to make it mesh, we can’t possibly win. Deep down inside we know that if they were ever really in trouble, we’d run through fire for them, but over time, because of different perspectives, we may have become abrasive. We’ve forgotten how powerful we are when we get back to being embracive.
And finding that power starts with listening.
When I became the vice president of a large training company in San Diego, our head of customer service felt a great deal of resentment toward me because she had been intensely loyal to my predecessor and thought that I had somehow been the cause of his departure. Though this was not the case, her iciness toward me and my ineffectiveness in finding a way to ease the tension between us was affecting our whole team. Everyone seemed to tiptoe around the office as if it were a minefield, terrified an explosion might occur at any moment. We were falling behind on deadlines and not fulfilling our promises to our customers.
Finally, one day I asked her to come into my office. Once she sat down, I said, “You are so important to this team. But you and I both know our team is floundering. It’s because I haven’t been a good enough leader to find a way to break through with you. So, I’ve asked you here today to try something with me that I know will seem a bit odd. But I truly have a reason.
For ten minutes, if you will allow me, I will just listen to you. You are free to say whatever is on your mind, and I promise I won’t interrupt or defend. I’ll just listen. After your ten minutes, I’ll ask if you would just listen to me for ten.”
I’ll never forget her response. Looking quite skeptical, she said, “I don’t think I can talk for ten minutes.”
I simply asked, “Would you try?”
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