One of the biggest compliments you can offer another person is to listen. I struggle with this, a bit of ADD. The CEO of my former company was horrible, people used to not want to take him to meetings, he would sit there and fiddle with his Blackberry during a customer meeting. The message, ‘you’re not that important.”
Years ago I went on an interview with a top executive, busy guy, himself worth millions (he doesn’t work anymore BTW). I was nervous. Escorted into his office by his secretary. I sat classically across in front of his massive desk and waited. He said give me a minute to forward my phone and punched away at the keys. He then turned off his mobile phone, got up, walked around to the front of his desk, pulled up a chair across from me, sat down and said “tell me about yourself.”
For the next hour, without interruption, he asked me questions and gave me plenty of time to answer them. I had the feeling we could talk all day if necessary. No ego stroking. None of the “I started this company, I’m so great, I’m so smart” crap most CEO’s babble on about. Whether it was a show or not, I felt like he was truly interested in knowing about ‘me’. I still vividly remember the experience, he was a class act.
With Facebook, texting, chatting, Grindr, email, phone calls, I fear that mobile phones have reduced our lives to sound bites worked in amongst numerous other commercial interruptions. We’re so busy getting ready to do whatever is next, we have little time for the here & now. Yet we wonder why the people about us are so shallow and our lives empty.
TC hates his mobile phone, I’m not sure he knows how to text and no, he doesn’t have a Facebook page. A ringing phone is just annoying to him. I get mad because I can’t reach him sometimes, but reality is he’s usually quite focused on whatever he’s doing.
I’m trying to do a better job.