YKK Stories

2018-04-09 Issue 42 Fundamental Behavior 15 Listen To Understand

February 19, 2019
Author: YKK
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Here is a letter I feel like writing from time to time.

Dear ‘That Guy,’

I am going to let you in on a little secret everyone else in the room already knows – we can all tell when you are not listening and are just waiting for a chance to speak. Your body language tells us all very clearly that you are about to pounce! You jumped in and were off and running in less than two seconds after I finished speaking. You could not have possibly heard and understood what I said.

Look, we get it. You really had an important point to make. It came boiling up out of your gut until it was about to blow off the top of your head. I am sure it would have been brilliant in a different situation, but because you were not listening, you missed the main point altogether.

I will let you in on another secret – people need to be listened to. We are genetically wired to look for non-verbal cues that tell us you understand what we are communicating to you. In fact, the better you listen, the more we will like you!

Here is the last secret. All of us are poor listeners sometimes, but listening is a skill that improves with practice. You just have to be intentional about it. So next time, just relax, sit back, breathe deeply, keep eye contact, stay off your phone, and let the words wash over you. After we are done speaking, count to four (one Mississippi, two Mississippi, . . . ), then, and only if absolutely necessary, speak. OK?


All of Us

Don’t be ‘That Guy.’


Jim Reed
YKK Corporation of America