I overheard part of a phone conversation at work yesterday and it got me to thinking about something. It also relates to my Monday Memo from a few weeks ago & a recent blog post. Then my husband had a conversation with someone that made me think about this same thing again. So I decided I needed to explore it a bit more. Writing helps me flesh out my thoughts on something.
During the day I work for a service based company. Thankfully I don’t answer phones. Trust me when I say God did not gift me to deal with an irate customer. But I do overhear the CCR side of many of the calls.
Recently a customer called in asking if we provided a specific service. Our CCR tells him we do not offer that service. But then the customer asks her again. And she tells him again we cannot provide that type of service. She even goes on to explain that we are not licensed nor are we insured to do that. And then he tries to justify why we can do that for him so she tells him again we do not offer that service and we cannot do what he is asking.
It really became quite comical. This customer was so set on getting the answer he wanted from her that he was not listening to what she was saying.
Not long after this my husband was catching up with a friend. The friend assumed something about my husband. When my husband corrected him, the friend went into a rant. He already had his opinion cemented in his mind, and when my husband’s response challenged his pre-conceived thoughts he had no intention of listening to understand why.
How often are we actually listening to others? Do we assume what they will say will be in agreement with our own pre-conceived ideas?
We often hear “be intentional” from leadership experts and pastors, but what all is wrapped up in being intentional when it comes to our experiences, conversations, and relationships? I dare say being intentional is not just setting our mind on doing something and accomplishing it.
If we are to be intentional with people, we must above all listen. We must not just hear. We must listen without assumption. We must listen without judgement. We must listen with respect. We must listen to understand. This doesn’t mean we have to or will agree. But we absolutely must set aside our ego and pride and listen to understand why.