Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Workout your ears.

The gym rats love it when bicep day comes. A chance to really grind out the beach muscles is what they are after. With all the information available to us today they know they have to do the other muscles most of the time. The stabilizers, the Bosu-ball stuff and even work the treadmill, but really what they like is the chest and biceps day. That gets the girls.
They think.

It appears the same exists in business. Except in business bicep day is the moment in a meeting that someone is asked what they do. Boom. Door open. Beach muscles.

People will typically launch into a myriad of differing titles that consist of things like Chief, Head, Strategic, Director, Chair, Lead or any other acronym that will have us all amazed by their resume type title. A puffed up and important feeling fills the room at this stage and then one by one people follow along silently trying to stay with the pack of title talkers. Slowly the room begins to feel like a University bar minus the athletic apparel. People talk about themselves and what their paid position is without allowing too much depth to come into the conversation.

Now consider the couples you might see where you wonder how the beautiful women ended up with that guy. You know that guy, the one who probably missed a few bicep days. The one who might not know what bicep day even is. [And yes, stereotypes are ruling the day here...go with me.]
He has a secret I’m going to share with you. A very important secret.

When asked what do you do he hears the exact question and responds accordingly. He has never translated that question to mean, how important do you find yourself or at what level of competence should I accept you at or what University degree have you attained or what title do you possess.
He simply hears, “what do you do” and responds.

In those meetings and in the conversations at the parties he has always been a man who has worked out his ears. His biceps have been neglected. But his ears are as strong and built as one could have.
His answer is often a short description of the projects and hobbies he enjoys and is quickly followed by a cordial question to find out what others do. he isn’t looking for the spotlight immediately. That time will come and he can be patient. He knows he doesn’t need to seal the deal the second the relationship begins. Instead, he listens for their actions not their title. He listens for their compassion not their arrogance. He listens actively aware that some need to fill space because they are filled with humanity including the fear of not fitting in. He wants to know why you are on the planet and has honed his skills to such a level that he can hear who you are breathlessly quickly.

His beautiful partner has always loved the feeling of being heard. She has loved his ability to see her soul as she expresses herself. It took her a long while to realize that she enjoyed actively being listened too and being in the company of such a skilled person. She now feels empowered and loved and able to express herself without fear. Active listening takes practice. He has not missed many workouts.

Where you work is not what you do.
Who you are is not what your title says.

The events, adventures, products, places and legacy you leave for others is what the world cares about.

Live life without a title. Skip bicep day.
Concentrate on Ear Day.

Go. Make a difference.
[shared from Willie Cromack. For more post written by Willie C, check out his blog @]

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