This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

The smallness of Vancouver and virtues that are useful when you live here

I’ve lived in this city (East Van, in particular) for my whole life, so you can trust me when I say something about living here.

1. It’s small. At last week’s Briteweb barbecue I ran into a few ladies who I’d only known online, but it was great to meet them finally in person (and it’s great when they are nicer than you expect!). I also met someone who works at a marketing company that I recently learned was focusing more on our market. Now I’m just one more degree away from meeting the owner.

2. Listening and patience are important virtues. More and more I’m coming across people I’ve talked to and they ask questions I’ve already answered. I don’t mind repeating myself (and here is the patience part) but it makes me aware of when people don’t listen. I’m an introvert so I am a listener by nature, and I think it helps me out in business when I can gather information (and I write it down if I know I won’t remember) and use it later when meeting again or getting down to actual work. A few days ago I met a man who I discovered was introverted just like me. There was a lot of silence between us, but I realized that this was one of the rare times when I was meeting someone more like me. I probably rely on other more chatty people to lead conversations, or wait for a break before I get my word in. But because I didn’t know this person very well, I felt I had to ease into the conversation more, and be patient. Listening helped me to respond accordingly.

Last night I read a page in Cameron Herold’s Double Double that talked about this with respect to speaking with staff:

” ‘God gave you two ears and one mouth; use them in that ratio.’

I used to think this common saying was only applicable to leaders, but as I began writing this chapter, it dawned on me that it can be applied to anyone operating within a company. The point is that we need to listen twice as much as we talk. Too may of us race to get our two cents in, trying desperately to be heard without first hearing what others are saying….Often the key to great communication is simply listening – and I mean really listening – to what the other person has to say and waiting to respond once you’ve digested what they’ve said.”

Could you stand to practice these virtues more in life or business?

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