I am about to finish reading The Virgin Way by Richard Branson. Mr. Branson describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. As the founder of Virgin Group, he has produced an astounding 400 companies that deal with travel, financial services, transport, healthcare, lifestyle, and more.
So how did he become this renaissance man? In the book, Mr. Branson said that one of the things that contributed to his success was listening. He said that he always brings around a notebook where he writes down the interesting things people say and the important things he has to remember. This has served him well on many occasions. The notebooks are a source of knowledge, and, one time, his notebooks even helped him refute another businessman by saying something like Well, that wasn’t what we talked about two weeks ago. I know this because it’s in my notebook.
Mr. Branson also said that it’s important to listen to everyone, not just people in power. His employees give him great insights on how to improve their business as the employees are exposed to the daily challenges that he might not be aware of. Listening to employees is also a way to boost their morale because people feel honored that someone from management cares enough to listen to what they have to say.
For the past few days I’ve been trying to listen, and I discovered how challenging it was. I’ve been so busy trying to speak up and express myself, and though these things are good, I have to also try to listen. I want to learn how to pay attention to other people. I want to learn how to truly understand them, how to truly hear what they are saying. Through this, I feel like I will transform my life. I will be able to expand my worldview, I’ll gain more knowledge, and I’ll also be able to respond and communicate in a more effective way.
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All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with. I am a person. I’m not just a manifestation of corporate interests. I have an identity that is separate from my company because even if human beings are paid for a service by corporations, human beings are not owned by corporations.