The Good Ear

I like to go for long walks and I usually like to do that with a friend.  I mean, who wants to walk this earth alone, right?  A few days ago, I was walking with a good friend and as we started out, she said “I need to walk on this side of you so you have the good ear”.

The good ear.  The ear she can hear better out of, she wanted to make sure she heard me when I spoke to her.

All people don’t have a good ear.  In fact, Stephen Covey said “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”.  As an entrepreneur, you will need to find a good ear, heck- you will probably need several, I know I do.

When you need someone to listen to you so that you can work something out or you are looking for serious advice – I’m not addressing shoe and purse shopping conversation here – you need a good ear.

What does a good ear look like?

A good ear will eliminate distractions.  If your friend is checking Facebook, checks out the tall drink of water walking by or answers the phone in the middle of your serious conversation, you might have their bad ear. A person who is truly intent on hearing you will put their phone away when they sense this is important to you.  They will give you their undivided attention.

A good ear will not interrupt you.  People who interrupt while you are talking believe that what they have to say is more important than what you have to say.  Good ears are patient, they listen first then respond.

A good ear will stay on subject.  If the subject is you and your friend suddenly starts talking about their problem…you probably don’t have the good ear.  A good ear will stay on subject.  We all have encountered that one-up friend, the one who when you tell them about a headache you have, they have one worse than you.  Or the friend who says “I know right…” then launches into a diatribe of how that same situation affected their life.  These may be your wine drinking buddies, but they are probably not your good ear.

A good ear will ask questions.  Questions bring clarity to the conversation and distill out preconceived notions that the listener may have.  So, questions = a good ear.  Find people who ask you questions, not to embarrass or attack you but to challenge your assumptions and so that they get clarity on what you are saying.

A good ear will give support, not just solutions.  Sometimes you just need to process and a good ear will honor that, they will support you in that.  A good ear will help you come up with solutions and offer their experience and wisdom if you need it.   They don’t instruct, they support.

As an entrepreneur, you will encounter challenges, heartaches, downfalls, puzzles, and all sorts of situations that call for the skills of a good ear.  So, make sure you are walking with someone who has a good ear, we don’t walk this earth alone.  Find your good ear or ears so that when you need them they are there.

And, make sure you are a good ear for someone else.

You go girl,