Yesterday, during practice 142, a bright, young, bulb asked me a curious question. She had just completed 7 good minutes with her SEAL buddy and was curious if she was allowed to call bullshit when you don’t believe your buddy is responding honestly to your questions. My jaw dropped.
7 good minutes, remember, is where two humans talk, BTL style. One asks curious questions for 7 minutes and one responds. The aim of the one questioning is to understand, period. After 7 minutes in one direction, the buddies exchange roles. Again the aim is understanding. Bright, young bulb wanted to call bullshit. Bright, young, bulb wanted to continue becoming a master at rushing to judge; listening and taking it in, not so much.
Bright, young, bulb I see every day – she comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Bright, young, bulb, you see, is a leader and leaders gotta rush to judge, make just decisions, hire, fire, and decide who gets promoted, looked over, and demoted. Leaders gotta smell bullshit before they step in it. And, leaders gotta learn to listen and tune in like an animal being stalked. 7 good minutes is aimed at mastering the latter. Are you getting this. This is some good sheeeeeeet.
And, when you practice listening to understand you gotta focus the brain in one direction only. You set the brain to receive without judging. You turn off the bullshit detector. You open the ears and get lost in the language of another. You get curious and go wherever the other human wants to go. You fire up your amygdala and set it in full CARE mode. 7 good minutes is so hard to master because your survival wiring sees it as secondary. So, next time you try to practice 7 good minutes with a buddy or a loved one, take three deep breaths, look your partner in the eye, read their face, relax, and start with something genuinely curious and caring. Ask them to tell you more. Go where they go. Care enough to follow their lead calmly and curiously. Care. Understanding will come. Good.
Leaders understand the teams gotta know how much they care before the teams gonna listen to whatever the leader may know. Got it? Good…