Overheard – What I Learn Through Listening

I am passionately curious about people. I love learning what motivates them, what challenges them, and what inspires them.

So, I listen. I listen in my coaching practice. I listen during my workshops and seminars, and I shamelessly listen to conversations around me when I am working at coffee shops or when I’m walking down the street.

Why do I eavesdrop? I don’t do it to learn people’s secrets. Those are private and don’t interest me. I do it to learn people’s passions and goals. I listen to learn what challenges are universal and what ambitions fire us up. Lessons show up almost daily and help me consolidate how I teach and pass on that knowledge to my workshop participants and coaching clients.

That’s the secret, you know. If we face our challenges as goals to be met and overcome, we will meet them and best them. If we know our missions, if we are dedicated to our goals, we can do anything. And so, I write down these nuggets of wisdom, these slices of life so we can all benefit from the teachers who walk among us every day.

I title these Life Lessons, “Overheard.” Here is an example from yesterday.

Two people talking.
One young man. One young woman.
College age.

Young Man: I just have to wait a half hour before class. It’s ok. I’ve got the time.

Young Woman: Lucky. I’ve got to finish this presentation before I have to start work on the next one. Why are they all due at once?

YM: Well, you’re just a weirdo who doesn’t know time management.

YW (picks up a huge, overstuffed backpack and heads for the door): Or, I’m a just weirdo who has no time.

YM calls after her: Whose fault is that?

YW: Not a fault. A plan. I’m graduating in three years.

Do you see what I mean? She has a plan. She knows what she wants. She is going after it with everything she has. And no matter what, she will persevere.

I’m thrilled for her and I respect her dedication to her goals. I’m only sorry I don’t know who she is so I can’t send her a card of congratulations when she graduates early.


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