I am a Human Resource Manager. My job is to solve problems — people problems; or so I thought.
One day I looked up from my desk to see the troubled, angry face of a young lady standing in my doorway. Upon making eye contact, she quickly marched into my office, slammed the door, sat down and began talking …. and talking ….and talking. A flood of words and emotions poured forth, as if a dam had broken. She complained about the company, she complained about her co-workers. She told me everything that was wrong with her supervisor; she told me everything that was wrong with me. Without slowing down or taking a breath, she then told me about the problems she was having with her husband and all of the problems that she was having with her kids.
Finally she stopped. I collected my thoughts and prepared to offer her my advice. Before I could open my mouth, she suddenly stood up and extended her hand. As I shook hands with her she said to me, “I know that you can’t really do anything about all my problems, but thanks for listening.” With a smile, she spun around, opened the door and returned to work.
I sat there stunned and amazed. Prior to this experience, it had never occurred to me that sometimes people are not looking for a problem solver; they just want someone to listen. On that day, in that office, I came to the realization that there are times when listening is enough. This I believe!
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