Listening to Listen

All too often, we don’t listen to actually hear what the other person is saying. Instead, we listen to answer.

NOT Listening to listen is a huge mistake but is something that all fall victim to. Think about the last time you had a conversation with a leader who was distracted the entire time you talked, how did you feel?

I know that I have been on both sides. All too often people have come into my office and I never stopped working the entire time they were there talking. It was not until they left that I realized what I had done. I thought that I was too busy to take a few moment to listen to listen to them. What did that do to them?

I know exactly how they felt because I have also been on the other side where I have walked into to someone’s office and they never stopped working throughout the entire conversation. They were delayed in answers, sometimes never answered questions, or never acknowledged that I was even there. I felt like I didn’t matter, as if I wasn’t important enough to even be recognized. Whatever is on their computer was more important than I was.

Have you done that before? What about with your partner? Your kids? Parents? Friends? How would you feel if you were expressing your emotions and they were ignored?
Take a few moments to actually listen to what people have to say.

Dean Graziosi talks about when he negotiates he does twice as much listening as talking. This ensures that he knows exactly what the others are looking for and allows them to negotiate with themselves. What a great concept. Listen so well that you don’t ever have to negotiate!

There is more to listening then just stopping and looking at the person. Too often, we listen only to answer. We are not really hearing what they are saying. I KNOW that I have done this before, too many times. I have to catch myself almost daily and tell myself to actually listen to what people need and what they want to say. I am guilty of thinking while they are talking instead of listening to their entire thought. I listen so that I can look smart and give them a profound answer.
Answers are NOT needed for every question, Dan Greer (did I just quote myself? YES is did!!) Sometimes we just need to listen and let others know that have been heard.

I had a manager in the past that would stop me mid-sentence and then insert his answer. To the problem. Most of the time it wasn’t even what I was talking about. It was extremely aggregating to have that happen. it didn’t take me long to realize that he was not a Leader he was a boss. He wasn’t my boss for very long. I left that position to find a better one with a real leader.

Are people leaving your department regularly? It might be something as simple as your listening skills. If your people don’t feel heard, they don’t feel appreciated. Take a few moments today and listen to everyone that walks through your door. When you answer the phone ask them how their day is going and actually listen to them. Ask them questions that pertain to the conversation.
Don’t try to steer the conversation to the questions you want to ask, ask questions that pertain to the conversation

I have also had employees who have not been good at listening. As a leader that is extremely aggregating. Kids seem to listen to their parents about ½ the time, if we are lucky. As an employee, it is just as important as a leader to listen. If your supervisor talks you should be listening. If you are asked to go to a specific client, don’t hesitate, don’t say ill get there in a few weeks. There is a reason why you were asked to go there. If they ask you to work on a specific spreadsheet and give you specific directions how to complete it, DO IT THAT WAY. There is a reason they are asking you to do it a specific way. If you have better ideas, don’t hesitate to bring them up to your team but don’t just implement them.

Listening is one the most important things that we do every day. Listening is important for everyone.

PS. You should know that I am not perfect and I know that I have listening issues. When these topics come to me as I write the blogs i take the advice I give to heart every time. Thank you for taking the time to read

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