Never Ask “How was your Weekend” (And Then Fail to Listen)

“It was hard…my wife was just diagnosed with cancer and they found another lump today.”

It was the simplest on interactions. I’d been in a conference all day, vigorously charting out the career progression course for safety professionals with senior leaders.

I stopped to drop my paper coffee cup in the nearest restroom and asked the man at the sink how his weekend went. He looked at me and said “Good, but…” and stopped. Then he told me it was hard. Five weeks previous his wife was diagnosed with cancer and just this morning they’d found another lump.

And suddenly I forgot about the conference.

We stayed in the restroom talking for a while. He shared the pressures of the new perspective and how each of his children were dealing with the news.

So when you ask…listen. And be ready to respond. With your heart. With the part of you that needs to be there.

Ask, but always listen.

 

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