As a business owner and someone who rubs elbows with a lot of people, I know I do help, but I also know that once in a while, without realizing it, sometimes meaning well brings more harm than good. Aside from web and graphic design, my passion has been to help people, and sometimes that passion just bulldozes people over without a stopping to listen. It’s not that I’d intentionally trash someone else, but the fact that I didn’t listen, think about the situation, and dig deeper before opening my mouth.
While, my own colleagues and I get along because we respect each other even through disagreements, I didn’t realize – sometimes meaning well may bring more harm than good. In fact, it took talking to a really close friend to bluntly open my eyes on the severity of the situation… a situation where if I did the same to her, then we’d not be talking anymore. THAT is a real eye opener!
In return, I’ve been noticing this a lot with other business owners. It’s always something that isn’t done in spite, but with ignorance about listening more. Communication runs two-ways. Sometimes it’s that you don’t know the person well enough to know that perhaps their introducing concepts for a new product, or perhaps, business aside, having a rough patch, and only needs some words of support. It takes listening to take extra care.
I’ve also found this with total strangers who clearly have a passion for what they do, and want to help. For example, one gentleman decided that he was going to start lecturing me about my social handles, my website, and more. His points, though had some merit, were only based on small amounts of information, nothing deeper. He didn’t know I had been going through family problems with my stepmother’s failing health to know that some of my time in taking care of my site was set aside. He also wasn’t aware that my clients come first… like the old adage “the cobbler’s children have no shoes.” He came across as rude, pushy, and very insulting. He may have not intended to, but because he didn’t listen, he was seen in a poor light by myself and many of my friends, family, and colleagues.
While, I’m sure I’ll probably mess up in the future, I’ve at least realized my own mistake, and will endeavor to do less talking, and more listening. I do like to listen and I do like to talk, but frankly, I can’t be in the spotlight all the time, right?
So, in regards to reflecting on this, I hope that if you’re reading this article, think of times you may have run into situations with others that ran into a major disagreement. Did you really listen? Did you do as they asked? If you haven’t realized this even happening once in your life, you may be missing important people that could be supporting your business and overall personal life today.
Are you listening to your readers, followers, clients, friends, and family?