When my younger daughter is off to college I think we’re going to open a bar. Why? Because my wife could be the world’s greatest bartender. Not because she knows how to mix drinks — she doesn’t — but that’s easily learn-able. Her skill is rare and valuable. People readily open up to her with their stories, problems, concerns, and life history.
How does she do it?
- When you speak to her she actually listens without thinking about what she is going to say.
- She looks at you and gives you her full attention.
- She doesn’t interrupt to one-up your story with one of her own.
- If you pause for a breath or take a break in the conversation, she doesn’t immediately check her iPhone for a text, e-mail, or tweet. She’s not uncomfortable with silence. It acts as an invitation for you to continue when you are ready.
- She laughs at your jokes as readily as you do.
- When you share your mistakes or failures, she doesn’t judge. Nor does she patronize you with inauthentic compliments or consolation to win your affection.
- She doesn’t gossip, so you feel safe sharing whatever is on your mind.
- She asks great open-ended questions that cause you to reflect and think more deeply.
People readily give her their trust because they feel safe; they feel heard and understood.
Be a High-Trust Leader: build CONNECTION by listening like a bartender.
And in a few years, let me know if you want to invest in our bar (aviation theme of course). We’re going to make a killing!