The Birth of byHearing
She gave me the warmest hug…brought her children to greet me and EVERYTHING….right after I terminated her employment.
He thanked me profusely, high fives, head nods, a smile from ear to ear…even as we completed his final chance employee evaluation.
She cried like a baby, I mean like a newborn infant. Stained red eyes, snotty nose, tissue after tissue after tear soaked tissue….as I conducted her interview for employment.
Their eyes widened, watered and glistened with tears of wonderment and inspiration, as I facilitated a mandatory employee training. A MANDATORY EMPLOYEE TRAINING, folks.
I had grown to a level of great influence and I did not take it lightly. When I spoke, they listened. When I reprimanded, they corrected. Whatever I said, they most often believed me, without question.
Yes, I was an executive level manager in a well-established organization but let’s be honest. We all know that position alone does not warrant loyalty, neither does power, respect or authority. In a world where jobs are a dime a dozen where money rules most things but not all and loyalty, true loyalty is a rare gem amongst stones….What was it really?
What evoked these incredibly raw and sincere emotions in such a staunch professional environment? Hugs, thanks, tears and inspiration are not words or actions that one would customarily use to describe the culture of a highly productive, results-driven, government regulated workplace.
What had I done to encourage such openness of expression, day in and day out from my quaint little corner office? What did I do to make people care so much about themselves, about their purpose and about what I had to say about…anything?
As I am writing this, it’s been 5 months, 3 days and approximately 7 and a half hours [yes, I checked my watch] since my final day in a wonderful role at a highly respected organization. A highly respected organization with a beautifully transformative mission and ever changing corporate culture. After reflecting on nearly a decade of work that ended 5 months, 3 days and approximately 7 hours ago I could not help but ask myself whether or not I had made any true impact at all.
I reflected on the calls, texts, emails and conversations that I had with so many people who were impacted by this great organization. The people who were the feet of this transformative mission, the arms that embraced hurting children, with hearts that expanded exponentially, just to create a space for one, two, three, a dozen more children desperately in need of love. And our children were in deep need, like desert wanderers need water to live, they needed just as much love, just as badly.
These people that I worked with were concerned not only about their job performance but after getting to know them, I learned that they also juggled concerns about their own children’s well-being, their personal finances, their relationships, their losses and gains and their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. In my quiet reflection, as my heart grew heavy with the memory of all that I had left behind, I began to hear this phrase echoing in my mind, “You listened.”
I realized then that it was never about having the right answers. It was never about my position or my degrees. In fact, it was never about me at all. My success as an executive, a manager and a colleague was solely based on my willingness to listen. It was always about relationship and always about discovering the truest value of another human being. It was byHearing each of them that I was able to discern their needs, connect their hearts to a transformative mission and develop a flourishing community of thriving individuals.
I learned that qualities like connectedness, strength, enlightenment and unity come byHearing one another’s stories and shared experiences. Such qualities as communication, self-motivation, leadership and responsibility to others and active listening are considered “soft skills” however, I submit that these skills have the greatest impact. How much further could we go as individuals, how much stronger could we become as organizations and how much more unified could we become as communities, if we only listened.
ByHearing,LLC is not simply an organization but it is a response to an ailing society that begs for authentic relationships, deeper connections and a feeling of value to one another and to the world.
David Augsburger said it best, “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”
Please join me and invite others to journey with us as we grow byHearing and understanding all that we have to offer the world.