By: Elizabeth Webber Akre
It is indescribably irritating to me when someone asks for my advice, opinion or help and then doesn’t take it. I’m sure I’m not alone here. If you really don’t want to receive and consider someone else’s input, don’t call a meeting just so you can say you had a meeting. But once every blue moon, someone surprises me.
There is a new café coming to town. No, I can’t tell you about it so don’t ask me. But, it’s coming and I happen to think it’s going to be a very welcome addition to the downtown scene. So, get excited and when we can talk about it, we will.
The owner of the new restaurant and his marketing folks asked me and a couple others to sit down and talk about the concept and the menu. It was so awesome! It was amazing to realize that here they were actually asking what we thought and liking our ideas. Decisions were made based on our conversation. Items that we suggested were added to the menu. I’ve never been involved in anything like it before and it was really, really cool. What’s more, they want more meetings and more input over the next few weeks as they iron out the details for the café.
It was such a breath of fresh air to see someone ask me a question, write some notes, nod their head and say “Yes,” and “What a great idea,” and “We should definitely do that.” For once, I left a meeting feeling like I hadn’t just wasted an hour and a half of my day giving my opinion, knowing it was going to be ignored. This get-together showed me that there are still some people out there who value others’ creativity and ideas. And, to use the time to really collect input demonstrated their respect of my time and that of the others involved. Yay, mankind!
Think tanks, mastermind groups, and coaching programs can be quite valuable, as long as the participants are truly interested in sharing their own ideas and considering those of others. To the folks who included me in the discussion, I say thank you. It was exhilarating to be involved in a forward-thinking conversation and to walk out knowing that my participation mattered.
I’m sure I’ve been guilty of the same. So, I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to only ask for input if I’m really and truly in the frame of open-mindedness to accept it. I’ve also decided to make a conscious effort to ask for input more often. On a daily basis, I know that I get focused on my tasks at hand, put my head down and get the job done. But, perhaps if I shake it up and get some other feedback once in awhile, I’ll find my days become more productive and even more fun. And what woman couldn’t use a little of that?
So, does anyone have any advice on how I can get my daughter to get dressed, put on shoes, eat breakfast, and brush her teeth without me having to repeat myself over and over and over??