…and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

I don’t love to cook.  When I do cook, it’s usually something I’ve made 100 times before.  It’s gotta be easy.  It’s gotta be quick…or it’s gotta be something I can throw in the Crockpot.   When we had dinner with friends the other night at their house, my dear friend Caron had baked some drumsticks with homemade BBQ sauce.  They were delicious. 

I had never bought drumsticks before.  Ever.  In let’s say the 22 years I’ve been buying groceries, I’ve only bought boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I decided I’m going to try something new.  I’m going to buy drumsticks.  I can follow a recipe.  Not only was I going to buy drumsticks, I was so convinced that I could find many recipes and make many meals with drumsticks, I was going to buy the Costco size.  Ten pounds of drumsticks. 

In the cart they went.  I found a Garlic Lime Roasted Chicken recipe.  I even was organized enough to get the marinade on them the night before.  I was feeling pret-ty proud of myself.  Very confident that my family was going to love them.  Maybe over confident.

We sat down around the table to eat.  A few bites in, my husband somewhat sheepishly said, “The seasoning is really good, but I don’t really like drumsticks.”

Here is what happened in my head at this moment:  Hold. The. Phone.  WHAT?!?  But, but, but, you ate them at our friend’s house the other night and didn’t say a word.

After dinner, Joe explained to me that when we were in Costco he tried telling me he didn’t care for drumsticks.  He actually said, “I don’t care for those.”  He tried again, “Are you sure you want to buy the Costco size?”  My response:  It will be fine.

What’s the lesson here?  I need to listen. What I did was not listening.  It only looked like listening.  As in, I’m sure my eyes were open and I nodded my head.  But, I was clearly not listening.

I have seven pounds of chicken drumsticks in my freezer to prove I was not listening.


Want to learn more about listening and what makes a good listener?  Listening is one of the tools that supports the first practice of EMBARK in Finding Time to Lead.  If you’re interested in learning more, download it here.    

Reflection Questions:

  • What’s in your freezer or your closet or your list of projects that is proof that you weren’t listening?
  • Do you really know what good listening is?
  • When is the last time I really listened to someone? 
  • What are you missing by not listening?