Listening. It’s the most impactful skill you can become masterful at.
My husband Kevin and I want to purchase a sound system for our home. Music is really important to us. We enjoy it together and use it to set the ambiance for events, to motivate us through work, or relax our moods as we cook or settle in for the evening. When discussing the start of our remodeling, it was our top priority.
We had a bad experience purchasing a sound system for our former home, so we asked for recommendations from friends this time around. We chose to begin with a family friend. It didn’t go well.
When we visited his extensive, impressive showrooms we described what we wanted and also candidly told him of our prior negative experience.
During the grueling two-hour visit, our family friend talked the entire time and asked very few questions. When we left, we had heard about lighting, blinds, televisions, accessories, sound system options, and even heated toilet seats. They followed us out the door showing us the outdoor speakers despite multiple reminders we were interested in a sound system. He even told us we wanted to get a short term solution for our lack of sound – which we hadn’t asked for.
As we left, we were frustrated and further away from making a purchase than when we arrived. We were ready to move forward, and he was unwilling to get beyond his agenda.
We miss opportunities when we aren’t present for them. They’re always there. Do you hear them?