Our challenge in life is to listen, really listen, to those around us, Mickey Harte told the audience in Ballymahon last week.
Last Friday the Tyrone manager was guest speaker at the Business and Community Expo in Ballymahon which was spearheaded by Bank of Ireland.
As usual, Harte’s motivational approach to life focused on getting the the best out of people.
“It doesn’t matter what your business is - if people don’t like your approach, they won’t like your product,” he said, adding it is only when we become “good listeners” that the winds of change will blow in.
“We need to practice the skill of active listening; in our home life, social settings, etc, so that when a conversation is really going on - you need to become aware of whether you are the person that is listening or thinking about your answer.
“That is our challenge in life - to listen.”
Mickey Harte has often been compared to a statesman for his willingness to unite divided communities in Northern Ireland.
It is this willingness, a willingness to make things better, that has him trawling the length and breadth of the country speaking at public events and endeavouring to motivate the masses.
“How we engage with people is relevant,” he continued.
“You encounter people where they are at, not where you would like them to be.
“When we fix the person that is looking back at us in the mirror, then other people around us change.”
Considered one of the best tacticians in the game, Harte is admired both by peers and former rivals.
During last week’s meeting in Ballymahon the Tyron native also spoke about unity, recognition and team spirit - attributes, he added, that were essential in the business world.
“Any group of people that have a common goal is a team,” he continued.
“People’s attitudes and personalities should ignite the best qualities in the people around them - the goal should be to create a great team rather than great team members.”
He went on to say that it was necessary for people “ to step out of their comfort zones” both for the betterment of the team and themselves.
“There is no time,” added Harte, “for selfishness, ego or anything like that; the main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team”.
He added, “The problem of being in a rat race is that if you win - you are still a rat!”.
Before concluding he said it was important to always look for the good in others and to recognise them for that goodness.
“Even if they are energy sappers, it is the beginning of a process to bring them from sapper to energy giver,” continued Harte.
“Change your thinking, place yourself in the company of other people and above all else you must be authentic to yourself.”
Afterwards Sheila Flynn, Manager of Bank of Ireland in Ballymahon thanked all those who helped and supported the event in any way.
“Just listening to Mickey there talk about listening more than we talk, it occurred to me that there is a very good reason why we have two ears and just one mouth - we need to listen more than we talk,” she smiled.
Over 50 business from the area also exhibited their wares at the event which took place over two days at Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon’s gym.
See Page 30 for more photographs