Never criticise a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins.
There is an American Indian quote that states ‘never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins'. Father Brian D’Arcy used this quote this morning on Radio 2’s Pause for thought.
I love this 5 minute section as it covers a broad spectrum of spirituality and I feel that I am now more spiritual than I ever used to be and less religious. Our needs do change over time. Our perceptions as individuals can be massively altered by circumstances that occur in our lives but one thing that doesn’t change is our desire as humans to feel like we are being listened to and more importantly, that we’ve been heard.
Father Brian went on to say ‘how can I walk a mile in his moccasins without taking off my own shoes’? So in order to listen properly, you have to put your own agenda to one side and focus solely on the other person.
In today’s society, we have so many different stakeholders with a voice that it’s difficult to pick through the noise at times but the channels that you can’t ignore are your employees or those closest to you, your family or your friends. The power of genuinely feeling like you have a voice that matters is all encompassing and for an employee to be given that power makes a massive difference to their working lives.
Ask them for feedback, stop what you’re doing and look them in the eye and most of all pay attention to the detail of what is being said. Anyone who feels that they are genuinely being heard will remember this conversation. Sometimes it’s good to talk and just sometimes, it’s better to let others do so.