Just Listen



When people come to see you with an issue, try to keep from speaking and just listen to them.

First give them the benefit of the doubt and look at what they are telling you from their point of view. In the book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the Seven Habits is “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.” (Which means keep your mouth shut and your ears and brain open.)

So often we deal with people who know all of the answers, and they start spitting them out before they even finish listening to the other person’s point of view.  No one is that smart and—for sure—no one can put himself or herself in the other person’s shoes all of the time. I have worked with many top executive that thought they were the smartest person in the room and went about intimidating others with their arrogant attitude of, ” I know everything.”

Listening is one of the hardest things to do in life especially for people who think that they have all of the answers and that solving complex problems are as easy as 1, 2, 3 or that there is nothing more they could learn on the subject or issue.

When you  are dealing with a customer or a fellow team member, one of the keys to resolving the issue is to first understand what the issue is . . . and second always remain professional and be courteous no matter how upset the other party is.

  • Early on in the conversation tell them that you appreciate their bringing this issue to your attention.
  • Show interest in solving the problem.
  • Offer alternatives, say you are sorry, and tell them that you know how they feel.  Remember that feedback and awareness of a problem are a gift.
  • Make sure that you tell them what you are going to do about it and when you will be back to them; and then make sure you keep your promise and do it.
  • Make sure that you mentally prepare yourself for only one outcome and that outcome is—to make the other person feel like they were listened to and that that you provided the best outcome you could..


You may not always make the person happy; but with this objective in your mind, you will conduct yourself in a much more responsible way.  These concepts can be used in all parts of your life!   . . . Lee


Great Leaders Look for the Better Way Every Day.

PS: Congratulations to Teresa Jacobs who received 43% percent of the vote in the primary for Orange County Mayor. She is my opinion is the best leader by far over the others running. Her qualities are that she is honest, smart and organized. She can not be bought by big business like some others in the campaign.

  1. Great reminder Lee! Good stuff as usual.

    What’s your advice on managing a team member who seems to do a great job of listening to their people’s issues but doesn’t do a great job in executing on fixing the issues? People are know they are cared for . . . but then with a left with a bad taste in their mouth over time because they don’t see progress on issues that bother.


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