In these modern times, could it be that we are far too focused on ourselves…be it personal or professional…and have lost all ability or inclination to actually listen accurately?
It never really occurred to me until I got involved with the on boarding program for Sophomores entering the CSU San Marcos business school. Their challenge is simple: start training up very young college students for the task of actually finding work. The facts are stark: the average HR person spends 7 seconds reading a resume. 84% of all jobs are found through networking! If that’s the case, step 1 is developing a network!
I am reminded of the Beatles point of view about the business day…”woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head…” That's the musical version of how many of us start our day; we get to work and focus on the immediate and in many cases, 8 hours later, head for home. It's a closed world.
Last week at our General Membership meeting we decided to test our own net working skills. We organized into 5 person teams and interviewed each other. What we discovered is that there is a lot to learn in a focused conversation…like “how to listen. Lesson 1 is ‘It’s not about you” when you are actively listening! Lesson 2 is there is a lot to learn from other execs in our space.”
Lesson 3 was really telling: the collective “rolodex” of 110 members, all in the Sport and Athletic Lifestyle industry is really powerful. Let’s suppose we each have 40 active contacts (way low) and we multiply that times the 110 companies: 4,400 relevant contacts, all associated in one way or the other to our collective business space. And it’s easy to access them… come to a meeting and listen and learn!
Hope to see you soon…keep on learning!