“What Did You Say?”

While I hate to admit it, and against my better judgement, I have succumbed to the pressure of my friends to join the app dating world. It’s not that I don’t think that there are great guys available on those types of resources, but so much of me wants to be able to find a mate at the grocery store or in the gym. Oh well – it’s 2015, and my odds are better digitally than somewhere on the street I suppose.

Anyway, my pitiful dating life is not the point of this story. I ended up being “matched” with someone that I had met previously over a year ago while out at a restaurant with friends. I remembered his face and instantly the major aspects about his life that he shared. As I recounted all of my memory of our conversation, he immediately recognized my ability listen and retain information. Until then I had never given it much thought, and I must admit I have not always focused on what others have to say. Having said that, I have discovered that in my line of work that listening is a very large portion of the equation to success. No matter if I’m dealing with my internal or external customers, the ability to listen and recall details shared with me by others has served me well.

Listening and retaining is a very simple way of conveying two things: “I care about you and what you have to say is important.”

I say this not because we should be able to recall every conversation that we ever have – that’s not practical. I do think that if we (myself included) spent more time focusing on listening to what others have to say rather than what our response will be, we’d have much more success in life and relationships.

Listening to others is the most simple way to assure the other party that you value them. How many times have you felt devalued by someone because they did not take you seriously enough to pay attention to your concern or idea. “What did you say?” has a different meaning to me today than it did yesterday. I want to be a man known for valuing others – because everyone is just that. Valuable. I hope I’m never foolish enough to devalue someone going forward. I hope whomever reads this has the same ambition in their interactions with others. You might be surprised about what you learn – and whom you impact – without saying a word.


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