It's Not About the Nail
Learning to listen to people is the single most important skill any great leader needs.
How many times have you been in a conversation with someone and you know EXACTLY what's wrong with them but they can't see it at all. And when you tell them directly they look at you like you're crazy for suggesting that is the root of their problem.
For A types like myself it can be so hard to let people figure things out for themselves but the truth is that is the only way anyone will learn and realize and take action. Listening to people, asking great questions will get you places. As a trainer my job is 80% listening, 15% touching and 5% talking. I've tried preaching to people but it's a waste of time, a decision to commit to a program has to come from within, the more I force it and no matter how badly I want it for my client I can't do it all for them. I wish I could!
I come from a family of leaders. Whenever there is a problem we all want to help, we are not afraid to be incredibly blunt with each other, we will role play together to play out confrontational moments that haven't happened yet just so we can be ready. Seriously we do this a lot, like before interviews, important meetings, phone calls, etc. When Matt first witnessed this he thought we were all crazy but I think he's starting to see we might not be that nuts haha!
I'm far from perfect at this skill but I do think like fitness the more we work at listening the better off we will be. The best party trick I have is knowing how to get people talking about themselves right away. Everyone loves a listener! Next time you're in a conversation and what to tell a story stop and ask a question instead. It will feel weird at first but ultimately questions lead to communication and communication leads to connection.
p.s. This video was introduced to me last week at the ambassador summit. Thank you!!