Learning To Listen Thanks To the Kids



Those extra few days at home this month must have taken more out of me than I figured. Even though I got into the Windy City yesterday I was so exhausted that after checking into my Chicago Marathon Hotel, I simply fell asleep! Usually I at least am able to force myself to get a good work out in after a travel day, but this was different.

The time spent with my wife and kids was extremely precious and I’d definitely do it again. In fact, the next time I get cancellations I will do exactly the same thing. Just being there for the little moments seems to be a big part of what being a father and husband are all about.

One of the best things those extra moments do for me is allow me to better understand people in general. Taking the time to be in the moment and share, communicate, learn is so amazingly educational that I wonder why I’ve not been more cognizant of the process before this.

For whatever reason, though, I’m learning it right now. When I’m on the road I attempt to live a healthy life by eating right, working out regularly either at the hotel gym or someplace nearby, and getting plenty of rest.

At the same time, I make sure I enjoy my non-work time and do all I can to get out into the world that exists in the city I might be in. When I take the time to learn just that extra bit more about people, like the 15 or 20 minutes I get to spend in the morning with my children I learn to listen to their needs.


My clients and prospective customers fall into that very same category. Sales and customer relationships are all about listening to their needs. Whether they express them clearly or not.

For instance, the simple statement from one of my kids about preferring to use ink pens over pencils was hugely educational for me. From that simple statement I learned that this little person is growing up. He’s moving from the world of making mistakes and being able to easily correct them via an eraser to inks and permanence.

Clients are the same way. Just this morning a customer told me how much they enjoyed receiving flowers on special occasions because it made them feel special. They knew that someone had taken the time and gone out of their way to make them this gift.

Of course this client will get flowers from me at some point in the future. More importantly they (and hopefully all my clients) will get my complete attention anytime I have the opportunity to spend time with them.

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