re imagine pacing blog

Collette believes in the Power of Listening

Liz Lee
by Liz Lee

August 03, 2022

3 minute read


Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward.

                                                                        - Brenda Ueland 


If you were to google the above quote, you’d likely find it attributed to the pioneering American psychologist Karl Menninger. But if you dug a little deeper, you’d learn that it became attributed to him only because he himself had once quoted this bit of wisdom, with high praise to its original author. The actual source? An article in Ladies Home Journal from 1941, penned by writer Brenda Ueland. The article, entitled “Tell Me More: On the Fine Art of Listening,” is an ode to the advantages of being a skilled listener, and it’s every bit as relevant today as I’m sure it was back then. Here’s another compelling quote:


It makes people happy and free when they are listened to. And if you are a listener, it is the secret of having a good time in society (because everybody around you becomes lively and interesting), of comforting people, of doing them good.


Okay, so why am I rambling on about this obscure article from 1941? Because right now at Collette, we are all about listening. We want to hear about your experiences traveling with us, yes. But we also want to hear about how your experience was leading up to traveling with us, what it was like afterwards, what you liked, what you didn’t, whether or not your filet mignon was overcooked, and in which hotel room you left your toothbrush. What I’m saying is this: We’re listening.


Why? Not necessarily because it makes us more fun at cocktail parties as Ueland suggests (although it probably does), but because we want to know how we can do better. We want to learn what might go wrong and how we can fix it before it happens, and we want you, the traveler, to be our teacher.


If you’ve traveled with us before, you may not know what a large part you’ve had in shaping the company we are today. Our travelers, after all, are the ones who told us they wanted more free time on tour. We listened. Every tour we offer now comes with plenty of built-in free time to wander on your own. You said you wanted more choices and ways to personalize your trip, and we listened. We now offer itinerary choices to suit different personalities and interests on almost every tour we run, and were one of the first tour companies to do so.


We also listened in 2020, when so many of our travelers were left with tickets in hand to trips that were canceled due to the pandemic. To date, Collette has given over $170 million in cashback refunds due to Covid. Why? Because we listened to you. And because we knew it was the right thing to do.


So, in the spirit of the late, great, Brenda Ueland, we want you to know that we believe in the power of listening, and we welcome your feedback. Got something to say? Get in touch with us here. We’re all ears.


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