In a couple of days I’ll be heading for New York to be part of the Global Citizen Festival (I will elaborate on that festival later in another blog). Heading for New York – the city of immigrants. Founded by Dutch colonists in 1624. The beautiful melting pot of so many different cultures. How symbolic for the issues we are facing in Europe right now.
Because how do we welcome our novice? The novice at work, the novice in our neighborhood, in our country and the person with the “novice” ideas. I think we welcome the “novice” in many different ways. Some warm and attending, some cold and neglecting. But either way I think we can do better. How?
We can start by really listening to that new bloke at work, in our neighborhood, in your town or even in your country. By listening to the novice or the “novice” ideas. Listen to each other without taking a stand in a split second, without interrupting each other. Listen to the person that’s telling you his ideas, his worries, his dreams. And when you really listen without any interruption, you will hear and experience what a marvelous and useful thoughts will emerge within the other person. And for the listener: you will see the other person in a whole different light. It will help you to understand the other person more easily. To become more aligned.
An example – last week my colleague and I had an appointment with a client about a team meeting we facilitated. We were talking about the effects of the meeting. The client told us that the stories the team members had told each other at the beginning of the meeting – stories about their backgrounds and roots and how that influenced their perception of good leader – had a lot of impact. The team members were more understanding towards each other and it helped them to find each other more easily. Part of this team knew each other for a couple of years, others were new. But even the old team members never took the time to really got to know each other and listen. And do you know how much time it took to let this happen? Three minutes per person! Three minutes of real attention from all of the participants for the thoughts of one person.
And this isn’t a coincidence. Really listening works. And not only for the “novice”. It works in every encounter.
So I dare you to create your own “New York” and act as a global citizen. Start by listening to one another, to the “novice” or your neighbor at work, in a business meeting or to the stranger in your street, and experience the magnificent outcomes for yourself. And please share your experience with us.
Because with your own two hands (and ears) you can change the world.
Do you want to know more? Contact me. For additional reading, I recommend “Time To Think” from Nancy Kline. She explains in her book how really listening will enable you to think for yourself and helps you to find your own solutions for your own problems, the problems at work or even global problems.