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  • Writer's pictureDoug Fleener

What’s Said and What’s Heard

I believe in the saying, “I’m responsible for what I say, but I’m not responsible for what someone hears.” Most people will agree with that statement but still react when the other person doesn’t respond in the way they want.

There are two ways that leaders in recovery can improve in that area.

1. Don’t take the other person’s response personally. If the other person is unhappy with what you told them, they aren’t going to jump up and down and say, “Whoppe. Sure thing, boss.” If you react to how they reply, you take responsibility for what they hear.

2. Watch for patterns you need to improve in what you say. I coached a leader who believed all his employees were too wimpy to hear the truth. Yes, key up Jack Nicolson from A Few Good Men in your mind. I could agree if only one employee had a problem with what they heard. Two started to be suspect. After that, it was a pattern, and HE needed to change.

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