Volume 1, Issue 12

December 2012

Blue Ridge Conference



             Former television news host Hugh Downs once told how frustrating it was to him to see journalists conducting interviews without really listening to the person they were interviewing. Downs called those types of conversations the “yeah-well interview.” 

            As an example of a “yeah-well interview,” Downs recalled an interview he heard between a journalist and a former prisoner in the Kremlin.  The former prisoner told of a painstaking escape attempt in which he and his fellow prisoners spent months tunneling their way out of their prison cell.  When they finally broke through, however, they realized they’d tunneled right into Josef Stalin’s office.

            Now, what would you expect the interviewer to say at this point? Wouldn’t you expect him to ask, “Wow, what did you do next?” or “That must have been a downer to think you had burrowed to freedom only to discover you were in the office of the chief tyrant?” Oh, no! At this revelation, the interviewer interrupted with a question. “Do you have any hobbies?” Hugh Downs was astounded that the interviewer, faced with such a dramatic revelation, would cut off the conversation that way.  He obviously wasn’t even listening to the man he was interviewing. His failure to listen ruined what could have been an exciting interview.

            Much has been written in leadership books and management literature on the importance of listening. In fact, entire books have been written on why listening is the key to showing others we care. With the dominance of mobile media devices like phones and tablets, listening is becoming even harder and harder to practice with people, especially those closest to us.

            If we are not careful, the same thing can happen to us during the Christmas season.  We get all wrapped up in the lights, gifts, food, wrapping paper, the phrase, ‘some assembly required’ and then all of a sudden, Christmas is here and then gone. All the while, there is this baby crying in a manger representing the reason for the season.

            You know, I love this time of year.  I love everything about Christmas from Santa Claus, to the time hanging out with my family around a tree and a roaring fire. In the hustle and bustle of it all, don’t forget to hear what the deeper meaning is for this season. Hope, Love, Joy and Peace all wrapped up in a baby.

   you hear it?  There is a baby crying in the manger and he is saying I am with you! 

 Have a Merry Christmas, great Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!


Dr. Jeff Heath, Founding Partner

High Point Resources, LLC & Heathland Enterprises, LLC





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