I was reading the other day about the difference between a cook and a chef. A cook follows a recipe, and doesn’t necessarily understand the principles of each ingredient and the underlying structure of how different raw materials combine. A chef, on the other hand, understands the individual elements, their flavors, and the way in which they could interact. A chef creates, a cook mimics.
I’m just a cook, for sure. I’m not a chef. But every now and then I’ll accidentally get something just right, and it feels like alchemy. The other day I was craving the NY Times recipe for Takeout Style Sesame Noodles – but I’m trying to avoid noodles (the carbs, oh those carbs!) I had cabbage and bok choy in the fridge, so I sliced those up nice and thing, added a diced scallion, and tossed them in that sauce. It was absolutely delicious. Even better than the noodles!
This still doesn’t make me a chef: it was an accident, due to a craving and what was in my fridge. But still – the alchemy of flavor and crunch and salt and just a hint of sweet – it was a delight. Do you have any experiences like that? I would love to hear.
This seems like just common sense and I think at first thought, we might assume we are already doing this. But Jordan takes us deeper, looking at how our reactions and comments influence conversations, and how the process of summarizing and repeating what’s been said to us can help both the listener AND the speaker better understand the story, can help tease out threads of meaning and more easily understand what really matters in what’s being said. This chapter also includes a warning in the power that the listener can have over the speaker, especially in the realm of therapy, and how much influence a therapist can have, both positive and negative, in the lives of their patients.
Did you find a way to listen well today? Do you have any ways in which you have made yourself a better listener? Please share!
Quick Web Tip: Check your fonts and make sure that your website is readable. A big font will require lots of scrolling, while a small font might put strain on your readers’ eyes. Use a color that is suitable for your website, and not hard on the eyes. Make sure your font reflects your business and your brand – for example, Comic Sans MS is not a good choice, unless of course you write children’s comic books!
What I’m Pondering: One of my team earlier today told me that he was looking for the right dog for him and his family, and that sparked a lively conversation about what makes a “right dog.” What do you think? What qualities and characteristics matter to you in a dog, or a cat if you are a cat person?