Last week I went to see my publisher to tell them about my next book. However they were not happy with what they heard and instead of understanding that it was going to be very different from ‘Making a Difference’ and indeed most of their other titles, they kept trying to impress on me what they wanted, what I should do and what sells best.
At a certain point, when my patience had run out and my temper was on the point of breaking, I said very bluntly “You’re not listening!” Silence filled the room. After a short pause I tried again, this time more calmly and in much more detail. I told them about my approach, my vision my long term objectives and eventually it began to sink in.
Slowly, ever so slowly the review panel came around to the point of understanding what I wanted to achieve and why. However, it was only later in the evening that I started thinking about what they had been saying, before I interrupted them, and what it might mean on the potential sales of the new book.
I had not gone to my publisher to listen to their views, I had only the intention of telling them my plans in the naive expectancy that they would say “great, how soon can we have the manuscript?” The result of the heated debate could have so easily been a disaster. Luckily for everyone we all kept our cool and remained polite and continued to work at finding a creative solution.
Listening is not passive, it is engaging.
Listening is allowing your mind and soul to empathize with the person that is speaking.
Listening is not about agreement or disagreement, it is not about what you think or believe in – that is a lecture.
Listening is about understanding where the message is coming from and the circumstances that surround it.
In everything we do, perhaps listening is the hardest of them all?
Have a good week,