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 growI 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?