My brain has a useful balance of creativity and organizational ability that does well with developing creative concepts and bringing them to reality. This is but a glimpse into how I work and what makes me tick. I host a podcast in Louisville called STARTUP: Conversations With Louisville Entrepreneurs

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The Currency Of Understanding

October 20, 2014 - Author: Dan Vonderheide - Comments are closed


I spend a great deal of time with people I don’t know very well at least on a personal level. My work has me traveling regionally every week and I’m working with a few dozen coworkers in those cities as well as their clients. In addition, there are several business and loose industry relationships that need management and attention. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but I do consider it an investment of time that will eventually pay dividends either monetarily (this is America, you know) or in the form of a new friendship that creates yet another human connection.

Understanding – of problems, people, situations, concepts – has come to be the most valuable currency in which I’ve invested lately.

Many years ago, one the GMs for whom I worked noted that the lack of met expectations creates conflict and he’s not wrong. It’s also common knowledge in the world of selling that listening is the most important trait that an AE can possess and this is because listening engenders understanding and clarity.

Taking the time to really understand a person, a concept, a product, a problem, is easily time well spent. It shortcuts the inevitable “I didn’t quite get that” questions down the line that slow down the process of selling or coming to some sort of problem resolution. It also completely eliminates the tearing-of-the-hair, gnashing-of-the-teeth, icy stare of death look that we all experience. Don’t fool yourself. In the workplace, We ALL experience that every week in one way or another.

The One Minute Manager (<— affiliate link) talks about the clarity of a leader clearly outlining objectives and tasks, then using quick conversations for course correction if progress isn’t what it should be. This fantastic book should be on every manager’s bookshelf for sure, because it all boils down to clarity – understanding – and the ability to quickly achieve what’s in front of you.

I know that time equals money and we’re not always in a place where taking that time out of the bank is the practical, short-term solution for what we’re trying to achieve – and I also know that taking the time 100% of the time is nearly impossible. But with a goal like that, be present in the moment of your daily conversations to strive for understanding. Don’t get just the answer you want, get the answer that will carry you through to the next day and move you forward with the issue.

Just imagine…imagine…the relational success we’d all experience if we all took this to heart on a personal level. The amount of political cacophony, real dialogue among religions, cats and dogs living together – it can all be real with listening, clarity, and understanding.

Let’s make this happen.


Categories: Business Principles, Management, Self - Tag: , , ,