remove your ego
listen with humility
I spent the first 16 years of my career learning how to be an expert. Then I learned that everything I had been taught was wrong.
At the start of my career I was an attorney. I was expected to know the answers to clients questions, to guide them to solutions to their problems. At the very least, I had to be able to spot the potential issues.
- What could go wrong?
- What are the risks?
- How can you mitigate them?
I left my legal career to become a residential real estate broker. Once again I was trained that I must be ready with answers at all times:
- How’s the market?
- What’s the current hot neighborhood?
- Is it a good time to buy or sell?
Your value lies in your expertise, was what I was told.
I realized pretty early on in my real estate business that these were surface issues that didn’t really influence clients’ decisions as much as people thought.
I also realized that in my role as a real estate agent the work I was really doing was coaching: helping clients navigate a big investment decision and a big life transition.
Once I saw my role as a coach, I embarked on a coaching certification. And that was when I first learned that I had been fed a lie.
My value did not lie in my expertise or in knowing the answers. The real power in coaching is in listening.
Not listening for your opening to add your two cents.
Hearing what isn’t being said. Hearing the subtitles in body language and word choice.
And reflecting back what you hear.
When people feel heard, they heal. When they heal, they are able to take steps to move forward in ways they couldn’t do before.
Listening in this way requires doing something that seems antithetical to “being an expert:” humility. Releasing the ego.
This is the lesson of today’s aspect in the Tree of Life journey. Today is day 40 of our 49-day journey, the day of Hod of Yesod.
Among other things, Hod speaks to humility. Yesod is the element of connection and bonding, as well as communication.
We need to approach people with humility and remove our ego from the conversation to listen deeply to a client without any agenda of our own.
Listening deeply to a client and reflecting back what you hear allows the client to hear the most important expert in the room: the one within.
When we can do that for others, we’ve given value far beyond any of our own expertise.