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Week 27: Listen and Learn

I was struggling to settle on a topic for this week's blog post. I'd have three or four ideas, then suddenly my mind would go completely blank; I don’t know if it’s because things at work have gotten really busy or because we're finally adjusting to the "new normal." Either way, I was starting to worry that I hadn’t landed on a theme, but then out of nowhere it hit me like a ton of bricks because I'd literally been repeating the same thing all week: listen and learn.

As a new employee for a large Bank, I've spent the majority of my time getting to know as many of my colleagues as possible. While each meeting is unique in its own right, the objective is exactly the same: introduce myself and learn everything there is to know about the person, team, and area of focus. I go into each of these sessions with an open mind, a blank piece of paper, and a desire to learn everything I possibly can. The quicker I can absorb the information, the sooner I can begin to formulate my own thoughts and lay out both a vision and a plan to move forward.

I bet you're all thinking to yourself, "That's great, but so what? What does that have to do with the underlying theme of 'self-care' Jacklyn?" Well, the answer is simple: we don’t always know everything, we couldn't possibly. What we can all do is make time to listen, learn, and grow. It's only by taking a step back and identifying individuals around us who can help guide our journey and teach us new skills and behaviors that we can leverage to truly accelerate to our final destination.

It’s like the saying goes, "One plus one is three." Meaning, that ultimate success is not about knowing everything or doing everything alone. Quite the opposite actually, real leaders and true greatness is created by bringing people together. The combination of perspectives, experiences, skill sets and diverse backgrounds is when the real magic happens. This is why I believe that the art of listening and learning is one of life’s fundamental principles and is therefore as much a critical component of self-care as it is in the workplace.

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