A Letter to Women in Business: Listening May Be More Valuable Than Speaking Up

To All the Incredible Women in Business,

How many times have you been told the key to reaching higher success is to speak up and speak out to ensure your ideas, opinions and feelings are heard?  And while it’s absolutely true that we must use our voice, even in the most difficult of times, it’s not the only key to achieving the success you’re striving towards.

Recently I was reminded of the incredible power of listening.  I’m not talking about the kind of listening when someone tells you something, you digest it and then respond based on what you think is right. I’m talking about the kind that allows someone else to speak, specifically about topics you find scary, off-putting or painful, where you sit in your own discomfort, feet planted, ears open.

It’s not something we’re ever taught – to stay put in discomfort – both physically and emotionally – and we don’t have the skills to sit with what we might not know how to fix. It’s messy, scary, and uncomfortable, and it’s a learned skill set that I’m still personally learning and understanding myself.

Here are a few tips that I believe have helped me become a more active and compassionate listener, and I believe they can help you, too:

  • Breathe – Breathing helps us be present and stops us from mentally jumping to the difficult things we might hear next. It also helps us manage tension or anxiety when discussing difficult topics.
  • Put Yourself In Their Shoes – Remember how it feels when someone listens and really witnesses you. It feels pretty amazing. Can you practice that same skill?
  • Remember The Time We’re In – Many people right now are financially exploring how to tell their truth. It’s intense, scary and powerful. Holding space for it might be the greatest gift you can give.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this week’s episode of the Going Beyond Podcast  where I tackle this topic with my dear friend, the immensely talented illustrator, designer, and founder of AHYINMicaela Ezra.  Michaela offers some incredible insights on the importance of listening and steps we can all take to improve as listeners, which, now more than ever, I think we all need.  She also shares her incredibly inspiring journey from Australia to create the “Sex in the City” lifestyle in New York City that she always dreamed of, to her collaboration with Gabby Bernstein, and her latest projects. Click the link below or listen on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, or GooglePlay!


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