Are You Being Heard?
- Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, February 20, 2023
We all want to be heard. It affirms that we matter and are valued. When we express ourselves and share our challenges with others, we aren't always seeking advice or solutions, but we do still want to be heard no matter what.
Everyone is unique. Combining our life experiences and psychometric hardwiring, each of us is special in a way that is particular to us. There are many commonalities that we share, too.
One thing we all have in common is that we want to be heard. We just want it to happen in a particular way.
When we experience success, we want to share our triumphs. When we feel loss, we seek recognition and acknowledgement of our grief. This sharing of the good and the bad lets us know that we are not alone.
Shared feelings and experiences help us feel connected and a part of something larger than ourselves. Some of us crave this connection more than others.
The amount of connection we seek can vary based on the moment.
There are times when a person wants to just briefly mention something going on in their life, seeking only for those in their close-knit circle to give them a "nod-up" as if to say, "I hear you." Other times we want a captive audience to listen in rapture to every word we speak as we tell the tale of our adventure.
Our need for brief or deep and elaborate communication and sharing can vary a great deal based on personality.
The way we are psychometrically hardwired plays a big part in our desire to share with others — and our method — along with our desire to have others share with us. "Just give me the highlights" one might think to themselves, while another says with great enthusiasm, "Tell me more!"
One personality type, the Innovators (in Core Values Index™ parlance), are quick to provide solutions to any problem you care to share with them. Rather than just being a good listener, nodding and occasionally saying, "I see" and "Mm hmm" and "Oh, wow, that's great!", they'll provide you with an unsolicited list of the specific steps they are firmly convinced will immediately solve your problem.
That may not be what you're looking for, however.
"Uh, sir, this is a Wendy's. We just need to know if you wanted fries with that."
Still another personality type will describe their experience at the grocery store over the weekend, when they met an old classmate from college. Whether you want to or not, you will become well informed about the crazy party they attended together their sophomore year and how that led to one of them selling their car to raise money for a trip to Cancun the following year for Spring Break, where they met their future spouse — who turned out to be a philanderer that took half their paycheck AND the house — only to find the [next] true love of their life sitting across from them in the waiting room at their divorce attorney's office. By the way, do you happen to know a good babysitter? They're headed to the beach on the one weekend a month they're stuck with the kids. The deposit on the condo is non-refundable. Oh, would you look at the time!
Listening to their story and making them feel valued because they shared it with you is the greatest gift you can give that person.
If someone wants to bare their soul to you, or they simply feel the need to mention a silly dad joke they read on social media earlier that day, they really just want one thing. They want to know that you heard them.
You may not need to do anything when someone expresses themselves. They probably aren't looking for solid answers to pressing questions (or maybe they really do want to know if that "check engine" light on their car's dashboard is serious or not). All you have to do is listen to what they're saying and process it. Think about the context of what they're saying and why. What is it they're looking for? How do they want want to receive it? Will a polite nod suffice, or is a thoughtful and compassionate verbal response the better route?
Understanding your personality, how you are hardwired, and how to identify the innate, unchanging personality of others is one of the most useful skills you can develop. The Core Values Index psychometric assessment can provide that to you, and it only takes 8 minutes to complete.
Some of you reading this — roughly 25% of the population — will intuitively know what is the appropriate response to just about any encounter you may have with another person. This intuitive ability to read subtle cues and tone of voice are your super power. Just remember the other 75% of the people you meet don't have that innate ability, but it can be learned with the CVI.
Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.
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