Listen and Hear

Boston Symphony Hall is the next morning’s destination, to meet with Ron Fiedler. Another mystery. Who is Fiedler and what role does he play in this developing puzzle?

* * * *

I remember reading that Symphony Hall is one of a few acoustically perfect music halls in the world.

* * * *

On stage, a slight, youthful, sandy-haired man in khakis and a blue button-down shirt instructs about 30 or 40 casually dressed musicians on the emphasis he’s seeking in the next passage. I assume he is the conductor. The brass instruments sparkle as light bounces off of them. The conductor takes the podium, and with a wave of his baton the orchestra begins.

I sit here listening, and, thinking of Cory and Andrea, try to concentrate to be fully present in the moment as I look and see.

* * * *

Does Fiedler play violin, trumpet, horn, percussion, or the harp? Is he the conductor?  Is he even part of the orchestra? What role did he or does he play in the life of the Sales Guru? What’s the significance to meeting him in Symphony Hall?

On the other hand, each successive visit has provided me with a bit more insight into the tools that enabled the Sales Guru to become idolized as the master salesman.

* * * *

…,the conductor dismisses the orchestra for a break. Several members, along with the conductor walk up the aisle in my direction. As they pass, some smile. Some look quizzical. The young conductor approaches running his fingers through his thick long hair and introduces himself as Ron Fiedler.

“How did you like the music,” he asks?

“I know little about classical music.  I’m sorry I couldn’t focus on it.”

“It shouldn’t be difficult to sit in this magnificent hall and focus on music.”

Defensively, I tell him I was trying to tame the multitasking beast from taking me over.

“Listen to learn, not to defend,” Ron softly responds. “We are going to continue rehearsal in 10 minutes. I’ll return shortly. While you’re waiting, practice sitting here quietly with no agenda.”

Listen to learn, not to defend.

Listen to learn, not to defend. Easier said than done, I think

* * * *

Your goal this morning is to listen and hear.” Ron heads for the stage.

So that’s my goal. That’s why I’m here—to listen and hear. On the surface it sounds so simple. Listen and hear.

Later, when Ron and I talk, he reminds me that in sales, most meetings or situations encountered are not ones with which I would be familiar. It’s important to be nimble and to listen and hear regardless of the circumstances.

* * * *

Ron chuckles, “For the last time,” he firmly asks, “what did you hear?”

* * * *

“Did you take the opportunity to do that?”

“Well no,” I respond. “I was concerned about what questions you were going to ask and how to answer them.”

“What you just said is typical—typical of anyone who goes to a meeting prepared to second-guess what people are going to ask or say.

“It never ceases to amaze me why we try to figure out how to answer questions that haven’t been asked. Learn to keep an open mind and to be fully present with your antennae up, poised in the right direction to listen and hear. That is more powerful and productive than listening to mindless projections in your head.

* * * *

Time and time again, my training for hospitals and their staff to listen and hear has dramatically improved their relationships with patients, resulting in improved patient care and medical outcomes.

When you are adept at listen and hear, you provide your audience with real insights. The ultimate reward is your ability to provide understanding and compassion, resulting in the best possible solutions. Is there a better way than that to stand out in a competitive marketplace?”

* * * *

Like the others, Ron hands me a piece of paper. “It was a pleasure meeting you. I hope I get to see you again.  Here’s your next stop. Remember to listen and hear. Remain open to hearing other people.”

With that he heads back to the stage.

Download Listen and Hear here.

Buy the Entire Book Now!

Copyright© June 2010 by Larry Blumsack