As I mentioned previously, I don’t work for Buffer.  I want to work for Buffer.  I’m acting as if and doing the work now so they can see I’m truly passionate about working for them.  (It’s all very Law Of Attraction, but even if they don’t decide to give me a try on the Buffer team, I’m getting some great reflection time in as I examine myself through these blogs.)  

Today’s blog is about Buffer Core Value #5, Listen first, then listen more.

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Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

I’m fond of efficiency.  I’m extremely fond of efficiency in communication.  Listening facilitates that.

Having been in the USAF Security Forces, clear communication has always been important to me.  Let’s face it, whether you’re dealing with nuclear weapons or human feelings, you want to be sure you’ve got all the facts before you start shooting.  I’m still trying to teach my kids to give me the facts first, but they like to expand first and give the facts last.  I’ve become a pro at asking probing questions in soft tones.  

Focus on Listening Rather Than Responding

I don’t feel the need to talk all the time.  I’m comfortable with silence.  I’m also a very good listener.  Is it any wonder my three guys are all talkers?

Everything is a Hypothesis and I Could Be Wrong

I’ve never been afraid of being wrong – and I have been wrong before.  I’ve no doubt there will be many times throughout the rest of my life when I’l be wrong again.  The way I see it, right can be learned and wrong can always be fixed.

Everything is most definitely a hypothesis.  Hypotheses create freedom.  Facts can become prisons.

Example: My sons found out the show Mythbusters is looking for a new batch of mythbusters.  When they went through the application instructions, they discovered the new crew had to be at least 21.  This was met with long little boy faces.  My response was to advise them to apply anyway and suggest that they bring on Junior Mythbusters or Mythbuster Apprentices.  As you can guess by this blog series, I really don’t look at anything as written in stone. 

You are Suggestive Rather Than Instructive

This is a Parenting with Love & Logic tactic that I’m really putting some effort into here at home.  While much of what I do involves instructing others how to use social media management systems, suggesting solutions or plans of action to get buy-in are far more preferred.  But there’s always room for improvement!

In my next blog, I’ll discuss how I’m doing on having a bias toward the ever elusive clarity.

If you’ve read this far, I have to ask – what do you think of Buffer’s core values?  Do you think it is important for an organization to set core values and stick to them?  If you had to measure yourself against your own company’s core values, do you think you’d find areas where you actually wanted to improve?