Not About the Nail

This is funny (but so true):

I spent a few rare moments of my time last week at a workshop and seminar put on by the great folks over at InnerSpace and led by the awesome Wendy Bittner, a leadership coach who really brought it.

The title was How Great Leader’s Listen and it was immediately attractive to me because of my growing leadership responsibilities and my desire to seriously level-up as much as I possibly can in those areas.

I’ll admit, I was a bit on-the-fence about how the workshop would go and had some pretty low expectations about the event as a whole. The complete opposite happened and it was one of the most impactful 2-hour workshops I’ve ever taken part in.

I could probably write an essay (or two) on all the things that I was able to glean from the event but one of the biggest takeaways was a simple thought exercise that has changed the way I think about how I converse and conversate with others, professionally and personally. So, here it is…

Are you (am I)…

Listening to fix or are you listening to learn?

Crazy how powerful that idea is, right? How often do I find myself listening with the intent on fixing the person’s problem? In fact, I can see myself already coming up with a “brilliant” solution in near real-time as the person is speaking which means that I’m not really paying attention to the person (nor the content wholly and fully for that matter).

Wow. I immediately thought of my oldest, who just turned 9, and how I instinctively listen to her to “fix” her problems instead of just trying to learn more about her, her thoughts, her heart, and her mind.


It’s not about the nail, really. It’s about the person, their thoughts and their feelings, and how they feel they are being treated when they share something significant with you. Ground-breaking for me, despite how simple the model is.

I love it when that happens.