Coaches are those who listen

I’m never without a book to read when there’s a chance I’ll be caught waiting somewhere, and I’m always surprised how reading it does not stop strangers from talking to me.

“What is it you do that you have to read a book like that?”

“I don’t have to read it, I want to. It’s a good book. But it does help with what I do; I’m a management coach.” 

“Really? I’ve got a lot of stress with my management job. Would you mind if I talked to you about it?”

For the next forty minutes of my inter-island plane ride, I listened to a manager tell me what it was like having his job. He didn’t know who I was, didn’t know I had written Managing with Aloha. I was simply a captive audience for him, willing to listen.

Who do you suppose your manager has to listen to him or her when they need to talk?

The book was David Allen’s Getting Things Done, and one of the things my seatmate wanted to talk about was why time management systems never worked for him.

I need to start carrying my own book around.