Water Cooler Lessons: Are you listening?

Water cooler note - Listening

The people you work with can teach you a lot about what it takes to succeed. One of the best lessons I ever learned was taught to me by somebody who was more than just my supervisor. She was somebody that I admired.

While that’s good enough reason to pay attention to how she did things, it was how she interacted with people that had me taking notes.

Judy was a territory operator for an international restaurant chain. My job was to evaluate the territory stores and to meet with the owners and managers to discuss their operations. I know that I did my job a little better because I followed her example.

Every time Judy was speaking with someone, it was if they were the only person in the room. She was present in the moment and focused on the conversation. Never distracted by time, people walking by, or her cell phone – she taught me the art of listening.

Although, I’m with a different organization now, that lesson has remained with me. Listening starts with having a genuine interest in the other person. When you have that, you can build lasting relationships. It’s the single biggest reason for any success I’ve had in my career.

Now, I’m on a mission to find out what others have learned from the people inside their companies. I’ll be doing a series of interviews to share how co-workers, bosses, and mentors have impacted the people around them – maybe without even knowing.

Stay tuned for some interesting conversation and inspiration.

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