Listening Skills: Choosing Curiosity Over Being Right
Monday, July 19th, 2010
Good listening skills are a key ingredient of effective management and leadership. Where staff feel they have been listened to and that they have contributed to a solution their commitment to act is stronger. A leader who has listened well will have much better information to make a more effective decision.
It is interesting to me that often executives have exceptionally good listening skills and yet fail to use them effectively. The gap often seems to be one of intent. All too often people are listening from their own perspective with the intention of raising a counter argument. They do not want to understand the other party’s point of view. If a leader listens to understand rather than for the purpose of responding, a different outcome results.
If you want to develop your listening skills further, try listening until such time as you can repeat the other party’s view to their satisfaction and only then consider responding. The simplest way of doing this is to remain curious and interested. Choose to give this approach priority over being right and exercising your debating (not your listening) skills. You may be surprised how much agreement there is.