As you sit in your office on Monday, I want you to take a moment to look around at the people next to you. Take a good look. Those people are going to need your support this week. You see, this week they’re going to go out into the world and spend hours listening to people. They’ll listen to people who were turned down for a loan; people who had an insurance claim rejected; people who didn’t receive a visa due to an administrative issue. There’ll be people frustrated by a supermarket self-checkout; people who bought something online and can’t figure out how to return it; people who won’t submit an expense claim at work because it’s just not worth the effort.
It won’t be all gloom, of course. There’ll be people who are thrilled with the purchase of a new car and how well the whole process went. People who’ve just submitted an application to university, full of hope and excitement. People buying their new home, moving smoothly through the mortgage process.
Your neighbour will listen attentively and with sensitivity. They’ll listen to try and understand. They’ll listen because they want to make things better. And that’s going to be exhausting for them. Whether the stories are good ones or not, it takes energy to listen. And because they’re who they are, they can’t help but open their hearts a little in the process. And some of that frustration, and some of that anger, and some of that excitement will seep in. It’s part of what we’re after, though, after all – some empathy to go with our new-found understanding…
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