Listen to Learn > Listen to Respond
Author: Mike Simpson
Photo Credit: Jonathan Simcoe via Unsplash
When I first started my career some thirty year ago I knew nothing and knew nobody. Pardon the grammar, but it’s the truth. That didn’t stop me, though. I had energy and a desire to learn! Here’s the thing about learning, though: the more you learn, the less the you realize you know!
I didn’t always believe that, however. There was a point in my career that I believed I knew it all. Let me explain. I could talk the technical jargon and wow you with graphs and charts. I thought my clients, customers, and superiors would be impressed with my technical prowess and never question my judgement. I must know what I’m doing. Why? Because I know a lot of course! Wrong.
Confidence in my knowledge yielded the exact opposite result I wanted. The truth is I thought I knew it all, and as a result, was not willing to grow. I listened to respond. Turns out, when you have preconceived notions about what the answers are or how to solve a problem, then you never truly understand what the need was from the beginning. My knowledge base had closed my mind, and in turn, closed my ability to adapt and learn. I wasn’t helping people to the best of my abilities.
This wasn’t me. I love people. I care about people. I want to understand people. I want to help. In all reality, I had to check myself. Because I was listening to respond, I never learned.
Listen to learn. Discern. Advise.
I had a breakthrough when I finally realized my shortcomings. I needed an open mind. I didn’t know it all. I started to listen. Carefully. As it pertains to my wealth management practice, the more I listened, the better I was able to help my clients. This remains true today. I really do care! The best way I can show that is to be a great listener. No one cares more about your financial success than I do. Is your advisor a great listener? Is the advice they give applicable to your life? If you aren’t sure, maybe you consider a second opinion. I like having a plan for my clients. In truth, if there is no plan, how can I advise you? If I don’t listen to you and really understand you, your desires, your dreams, then how can I really advise you?