Almost every conversation is an opportunity to build rapport. To do so requires the salesperson to listen harder for rapport cues.
Empathy has been a hot topic. Wherever you go in the learning space—from preschool to the boardroom—teachers and leaders are stressing the importance of empathy. The growing number of millennials in the workforce have changed the emotional make up of our corporate world. They are, rightfully, pushing for greater authenticity, meaning, and transparency from the companies they work with. This renewed focus on empathy, however, falls short of its optimistic intentions.
I met with a newly minted leader and long-time colleague, who is both highly collaborative and highly engaging. He cares about his people in a visceral way. I congratulated him on his promotion while warning him that there was the potential for him to fail due to a blind spot in his approach. I stated that he may fail the eat the oatmeal or like the oatmeal challenge.
Trust is key to any organization’s success. We all recognize its importance. We want trust in our workplace: from our co-workers, supervisors, and clients. Most people consider themselves to be great models of trust. The truth, however, is that there is a gap between that perception and reality—a gap which has proven problematic from a learning perspective.
Have you ever felt like you work in a parallel universe? Perhaps you walk into the office and immediately feel like you have stepped into a poorly scripted episode of the Twilight Zone, where there seems to be an alternate reality in which passive-aggressiveness reigns and accountability is nonexistent. If your office refrigerator is littered with handwritten signs and your company’s values are more often discussed than put into action, your company has an organizational honesty problem.
Not so long ago, I had the privilege of listening in person to a conversation between journalist and author, Maria Shriver, and Krista Tippett, author and host of the radio program ‘On Being.’ This was such a rich and rewarding experience not only because I love being in the room with people who are smarter than me, but also because they simply had a great discussion. As professional questioners and listeners, they traded gem after gem on how to be in conversation with other people in ways that make everyone feel valued and as though they matter. After all, don’t we all want to feel as though we matter?