Organic Thoughts - Listening with intent


 I had a really long and deep conversation with a friend of mine not so long ago about Organic Development. He was really interested in what we were about and was so energised by what he was hearing. This lifted my spirits and my energy was through the roof when I left.

My friend was looking for something. He had all this energy and drive for self- development and didn’t know where to throw it. He had no associations or groups of friends where he could release all of this energy and was searching for that very thing.

We met up again a couple of weeks later, but he noticed something different as soon as I walked into the room. He could feel that my energy wasn’t as high as last time and that I looked tired. He was right. I was tired and my energy was drained. It had been a pretty intense couple of weeks for me and I had given a lot of myself to others.

The reason we met back up is because he wanted to release all of that energy from the first conversation, I was his means of communication and a sounding board.

He arrived to the catch up with a whole lot of notes on his phone about things that he wanted to discuss and questions he had for me. I found this very pleasing because it proved to me that he was obviously really interested in what OD was about. During our conversation he built up the courage to tell me that the night previous when we had been messaging, I replied to one of his messages with a thumbs up and that it deflated him somewhat. He felt like I wasn’t interested. My pride took a hit, I don’t like to make people feel like that. I want them to feel uplifted when I’m in their presence.

I’ve been thinking about it and trying to dissect the feeling I felt and how I can improve on my communication. One of my aims this year is to make people feel like they’re the only person in the room when they are with me. I want to be a better communicator. A communicator that is empathetic, thoughtful and wise. A communicator that only speaks when the words coming out are going to add value and inspire those that are listening.

2 years ago, I was amongst a group of other peers, professional leaders within our space at a symposium listening to the former head of enlisted soldiers. He was inspiring the room and at that time I was considering starting up OD and I knew that outside of that room he was in the same type of business. I built up the courage to ask him for a chat post the symposium and pick his brains about what his venture was about. Needless to say, I was highly disappointed in the experience. Here was a person who just inspired a whole room with his charm and wit, but when it came to talking to him and letting him know I was thinking about joining his ranks, I didn’t get much back. I walked away feeling like he didn’t want to be there and that he was trying to rush me out of there so he could hang out with more important people. I felt second rate.

Conclusion: The lesson I have learnt here is that If someone is genuinely interested in you and what you have to offer then make sure you devote every single second to that person when you are communicating. No different to parenting your kids, they thrive for your attention. If you have something valuable to give someone and they are wanting your attention, then we must give them that so they can grow and walk away with the feeling of happiness. Don’t strip someone of that feeling. Make a conscious effort. If you are not ready to put yourself in front of that person, then don’t. Reschedule another time or plan it so that your meet up isn’t at the end of the day when you’re tired. Turn up ready to give that person all of your undivided attention and energy, walk away with an empty tank. Your service will be the giving to others and that there is the path to living a fulfilled life.

‘Grab the day. Don’t wait for it to come to you’