Two phone calls.
Two different people.
Two totally different needs.
“Hey man, how are things?” I asked.
“Not great right now,” he said.
“Why? What’s going on with you? Is everything ok?”
My friend paused and sighed before replying, “My dad went in for his normal check-up. But when they did his blood work, they noticed his white blood cells were extremely low. So, they tested him, and he has an aggressive form of leukemia.”
I offered what few words of consolation I could.
“My mom is a mess. I don’t know what to think.”
We talked a while longer. I listened, mostly saying nothing.
He then said, “Please don’t share this with anyone. I just needed to tell someone.”
“I hear you,” I said. I’m here for you. Let me know if you need anything at all. And call me anytime.”
Another call from an advisor friend of mine – a uniquely talented guy in his own way when it comes to business.
We start talking and catching up. He’s telling me what’s going on and what he’s trying to get done professionally when he says, “Look, I’ve never been very good at getting high net worth referrals and moving up-market.”
I replied, “If you ever say that again, I’m hanging up on you!”
He was a little stunned, and then let out a laugh.
“Here is what you should say instead,” I assured him. “’I have not focused in the past on moving into a new market that I am fully capable of working in and servicing.’”
“Do you see and hear the difference?” I asked. “One is defeatist and limiting behavior, but the other is empowering and deciding to do differently.”
He agreed and brightened considerably, even downright positive about his opportunities before the end of our call.
Friends and people need to be heard.
Sometimes they need feedback. (Even less often, they actually want your feedback!)
But most of the time, they just need to be heard.
Both of these phone calls occurred yesterday, far-reaching parameters of experience that frame a typical day.
Two totally different people with two totally unique situations and needs, but both very important to me.
So, what’s the commonality?
I guess we just have to try our best to be there for people.
To listen. To comfort.
To go through it with them so they know they’re not alone.
After all, that’s really what it’s all about.
Reach out. Listen.
You never know what someone might say – or when you’re given the gift to be able to help.