People Don’t Want to Hear from You

They Want to be Heard by You

Timothy Eldred

--

I had just finished presenting another 90-minute workshop at a leadership event. It was my third or fourth in a couple of days. To say I was emotionally spent is an understatement because I always tryto give my audience 100%.

As usual, people stayed afterward to ask questions. I’m no saint, so I’m wondering how long this will take. Not because I don’t care. Because I have needs. My body was tired. My belly was growling. My bladder was full.

Any of those issues could be a legitimate excuse to make an exit. But I promised people at the beginning of my presentation that I’d be the last one in the room. I’ve always made that my practice unless I had another session.

I don’t remember what my workshop was about on that day. Nor do I remember the conversation I had with the last person in line. But honestly, neither does she. That’s what she conveyed to me in a private.

“I’m in the middle of a massive reorganization of my studio and came across your business card — one I thought was worth keeping after all these years. I’m sure you don’t remember me, as it’s been over 10 years since we met briefly at a conference. I can’t even remember anymore what the session was about and what question I waited for everybody to leave in order to ask you; however, what I do remember is in that moment, despite the fact that you probably had so many things and people vying for your attention, I felt so seen at a time. Thank you for that. It’s a memory that has stuck with me all these years.”

If pride is a crime, I’m guilty as charged. While that message made my day, it was also a reminder for my life. No matter how much research and data I spew in posts or on podcasts, what people really want in life is to be noticed.

Let me make a confession. There was a moment while mulling over her message when I thought, “Well, I must not have made much an impact if she can’t even remember the topic.” And then I shared her words with my wife.

Once again, Cindy had to gently knock me off my high horse and remind me of the truth I just mentioned, “What people really want in life is to be seen and heard.” It’s true for me. And it’s true for you, too. It’s true for everyone.

--

--

Timothy Eldred

Writer, speaker, bourbon drinker, and friendly disrupter of the status quo helping people live with authenticity. timothyeldred.com. I also write on Substack.