Welcome to the thirtieth edition of “In Touch”. As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit “reply” and let me know what you think.
Story of the Week: Learn to Listen
A few weeks ago, I was with my son Rolando watching our football team play against a formidable opponent. Midway through the first half of the match, a rather perplexed Rolando turned to me and said:
“Dad, I saw two people taking notes while they were watching the match. What were they doing that for?”
“Great observation, son!”, I replied. “Well, according to some friends of mine who never miss a match, those two people are key to the team’s success. They watch the match from the stands and, at half time, they hand over their notes to the manager. Based on what they’ve seen and reported, the team can build on its strengths and improve any areas of weakness during the second half.”
Every football manager knows that, no matter how good the team’s performance, there will always be room for improvement. In addition, all managers have blind spots. The two men that Rolando had spotted taking notes are able to provide two different perspectives and two perceptions of reality that the manager can then utilise as additional sources of information on how the team can become better and, hopefully, win more games.
This analogy can also be extended to the business world. When I prepare to deliver a keynote address, I always make a point of asking for help from people whose opinions and diverse perspectives I value. It is no coincidence that one of the most popular tools that helps managers raise their game is “360 Reviews”, by which people receive so called 360-degree feedback from their immediate managers, peers and subordinates.
Taking diverse opinions into consideration invariably leads to improvement. Listening to different perspectives helps open our minds to new possibilities. As my friend Vaso Vardaki said in one of her recent Tik Tok videos, “You don’t have to agree with every opinion you hear but if you take even 10% of what you hear into consideration, you will become a better professional and a better person.”
Words of Wisdom
On surrounding yourself with people that help you improve:
“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
On always staying humble:
“No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better — because your job is to try to help everybody else get better.”
Jim Yong Kim
A Question to Ponder, dear friend.
“Who do you turn to when you need advice?”
Hit reply and let me know.
- Join us every Monday at 10:25 am EEST for Jump-Start Monday. We will be talking about the skills you need in order to have success in your career.
- Looking for more inspiration? Watch our previous Jump-Start Monday episode on humility.
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch new and past videos.
- If this newsletter has been forwarded to you and you wish to receive it bi-weekly, please click here.