A locked door. A cold bench. The buzz of a lawnmower. The sight of the purple jacaranda flowers. Something about the outdoors wakes up my senses and connects me to my thoughts. Simple pen and paper then dictating into a voice recorder allows me to listen, re-do, rehearse in preparation for webinars and events.
A man approached. “Are you part of the retreat?” Um, no…”well then I’m sorry you can’t be here, the center is closed. What are you looking for?”
I replied “The Lake Shrine. I thought it was the way in, this parking lot, and then I noticed the door was locked, so I decided this bench was sufficient.”
“Drive around to the big wooden gate. You’re in for a treat.”
I did not have to tell the man I was lost. He knew. He knew there was somewhere else for me to be.
Our customers know. Our employees know. They love to tell us what they’d like us to offer or do instead of what’s currently happening. Are we listening? Or have we decided, like I did on that bench, that the current circumstance is “good enough”?
Net promoter score. Engagement surveys with employees. Yelp reviews. It’s incredible the feedback we can receive, when we slow down and get present and real.
“To one established in non-violence, all hostilities cease” – Sutra 2.35.
We might fear negative feedback. Yet listening is an act of love. As we listen, and then make changes, hostilities cease. Loyalty increases. And we listen again. It’s a virtuous cycle.
At the end of the day, customers, and employees, vote with their feet. Hear what they have to share, before they walk away.
All ears J
PS Want to learn to listen better to yourself and others? I can show you how.