Hear, then help.

Hear before you help.

For most of my life, I skipped the hearing part and went right to the helping part. Someone would bring up a challenge or opportunity and—often before they concluded their opening remarks—I would try to be helpful by sharing ideas.

You’ve experienced the other side of this. Think of any time you’ve received unsolicited advice. Unsolicited advice skips the hearing and goes straight to helping. That’s why so much unsolicited advice, no matter how sound, falls on deaf ears. When someone feels heard, they are more likely to listen to your help.

Hear, then help. I fail at this frequently. (Unlearning is hard!) But when I live into it, I find that being heard is sometimes the only help people are looking for. And when they do want my opinion, having context instead of assumptions makes all the difference in my ability to truly be helpful.


P.S. Next time you are writing a lesson or practice scenario, shine a light on the listening sessions that informed it. “We talked with many members of the customer service team about the biggest opportunities they see. The consensus was that Y and Z would be hugely valuable, so we created this lesson to help!”


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