YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 15 – Listen to Understand

October 1, 2021
Author: YKK
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Listen to Understand


“Make the chili.”

This seems like an odd thing to start out the discussion of Fundamental # 15 “Listen to Understand,” but hear me out.  I ran across a post on Facebook recently with a simple sentence: “Make the chili.”

The headline caught my attention, so I continued reading.  Here is the story I read:

A good friend of mine unexpectedly lost her husband.  A couple of months later we were running together, chatting about nothing.  She asked what my dinner plans were, and I told her the hubby wanted chili con carne, but I didn’t feel like stopping at the store.  We ran a few more minutes when she quietly said, “Make the chili.” It took me a few minutes to realize we were no longer talking about dinner.  It was about going out of your way to do something for someone you love because at any moment, they could be unexpectedly taken away from you.

This story got me thinking of how many times we do not 100% listen to everything someone says.  It could be a husband, wife, child, co-worker, etc.  How much did we miss during those times we were not effectively listening?  Could we have missed a brilliant idea from a co-worker all because we could not put our phone down and give them our undivided attention?  Try to forget everything going on around you and truly listen.  Listening is only part of it; the other half is understanding to what is said to you.  Really absorbing what is being said shows that person you are 100% listening.  What they are saying is important to them, so it should also be important to us as well.  Effectively listening and understanding builds respect, trust, and stronger relationships.

I challenge everyone to “Listen to Understand” because none of us are promised tomorrow.

Anita Andrews
Senior Manager, Operations
Tape Craft Corporation