What do you care about?

No really, think about the question again. What do you truly care about? Write them down and I reckon you may have one, two or three things on that list. Now then think about what are you doing on a daily basis that meets your needs and wants. If there is a person or group of people (family for example) on that list then do you honestly know what they want from you or do you assume you know.

My son is first on my short list. He is 7 and all he wants from me is to play football (soccer) and throwing and catching. That is all he wants. As parents we have a long list of what our kids want from us but are we actually listening to them, are we adapting our approach to meet their needs. Now you could easily expand playing soccer to having quality time and you would be right but in a 7-year-olds eyes, all that looks and feels like is soccer.

When he cries that his stomach is sore, is he wanting you to relieve his pain, is he wanting sympathy for it to be sore or is he looking for something else? Does he want acknowledgement that he is in fact here? Does he want you to ask a question that hasn’t come into your head?

The answer is we don’t know unless we ask. As the Dalai Lama said ‘when we talk we are sharing what we already know, but when we listen we might actually learn something new.’ The people around you — how do you view them? Try looking at every single person you encounter, every interaction you have as an opportunity to learn. Look at everybody as a teacher.

If, as a business owner you only committed to doing one thing then make it listening. Make it asking questions to help you grow. Customers aren’t always right but they all have opinions that could help you question why they are thinking that way.

My son had a sleep over at mine with a friend. They were playing soccer in the garden and the boy started crying. I asked him if he was hurt and he said no so I asked him what he was crying about. After asking the same question about 5 times I finally got to the real answer. He was sad he wasn’t going to see his Dad on Christmas Day. So if you have a child, the next time they cry ask them what they are crying about. Maybe their answer might surprise you.

If you are keen to understand what is the real problems and opportunities in your business then contact TetraKey (TetraKey.com) and we will match you to one of business coaches who will provide expert support

Originally published at tetrakey.com on February 24, 2017.