I listen to others to understand their perspective
Listening is a key aspect of forming a strong relationship with another person. Understanding their background and where they came from are important in truly getting to know that person. When I met my best friend, Allasen, our freshman year of high school, I was unaware that she would be the one to teach me this valuable lesson.
We were on our high school poms team together and met through that sport. Soon, we were choreographing dances with one another for our team, and then hanging out almost every day. Once we started getting closer, I began to learn about her home life. Her father's bank was being bought out and he was about to lose his job. Her mom worked as a bridal consultant and wasn't able to support the entire family, and her brother was about to enter college but had to take a year off because her family was unable to afford his education. I was there for her when her father got the call that he had officially lost his job. I was there for her when her mom got laid off. I was there for her when her family friend passed away unexpectedly. Through all of her hurt, I was able to find out who she was.
Listening is a crazy thing. Most people hear things every day, but not many actually listen. Listening is about paying attention to details. It's not merely letting someone talk to you. Listening involves a response, acknowledging that you understand what they're saying. Listening to her pour her heart out about her troubles helped me find out what was important to her and to know what she valued most in her life. We became closer and we learned more about each other in the process. Over the past 6 years that I've known her, I have constantly reminded myself to always listen, regardless of our relationship. I listen to people talk to me about adversities they face in school or at home. It helps to show that you genuinely care about the other person and express interest in what they have to say. Remembering what they told you and asking them about it displays a personable trait and tells them they can count on you to listen.
In my CQM class during the education and career planning common hour lesson, a student approached me after class asking about my major and what it entailed. He told me that he was interested in marketing and advertising, but declared himself a math major because his parents wanted him to pursue a career in that field. I told him more about different career paths in advertising and listened to his concerns. He was leaning more towards a research career, but one that dealt with people and was less centered around math. I talked with him briefly about Account Planning within advertising, which deals with research about the consumer insight, looking at consumer trends, the consumer relationship to a brand, and conducting focus groups to talk to people about their spending habits and what products they prefer over others. It is not super math heavy, as it deals more with statistics than calculas or accounting. I also said I would email him more information about the career so he could get more unbiased information. He sent me the email below, thanking me for finding more information with him to help him find his potential future career.
In my future career endeavors as an Account Manager, one of the essential aspects of my job will be to listen. I have to make sure that the client I am working with has all of their needs met, and by listening to exactly what they have on their wish list, it's my job to make sure that my agency fulfills their needs. Again, listening is more than just hearing what the other person has to say. I have to acknowledge that I understand their requirements and remember exactly what they want. By understanding what my client wants, I will also learn more about their company and what they stand for. Listening is a large part of our lives that not many think about. Utilizing this tool will help people form a strong bond with one another and create more unique and genuine relationships.