Have You Ever Been Taken By Surprise?
By: Katherine Martin
In a good way?
It happens occasionally. Not just, “Oh, that was nice. Thanks for holding the door.” I mean, “Holy shit! Your customer service was so unexpected and over the top. I’m willing to tell your manager and write a review on my experience.” That kind of way.
How about the last time it happened at work?
Mine was the first day on the job. During my very first meeting at Narrative Science, I was completely caught off guard by the amount of direct feedback my new team shared. I wasn’t used to it. I consider myself pretty open and good at delivering feedback, but this was another level.
They weren’t afraid to be honest. More importantly, they really listened to each other. It wasn’t feedback for feedback’s sake. Rather, they shared remarks backed with mutual respect, trust, and authenticity.
And it was energizing.
Two of my colleagues recently wrote a book, “Let Your People Be People”. It’s all about storytelling and how it can bring humanity back to business.
The section that stands out the most to me is Part 31: Storytelling Begets Empathy. It reminds me of my team’s ability to listen to each other, be empathic, and candid all at the same time.
My favorite line from this chapter sums it all together: “Listen. Really listen to the stories of those around you. When you are empathetic to actual humans, you can much more quickly figure out how to create real change in the company.”
You can read the full book for more tips like this. I hope you have similar reactions.
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