Power Listening: The Secret to Successful Conversations
I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions. ~ Lee Iacocca
Listening may be the most important, yet least developed, skill for personal and professional success, especially in today’s fast-paced business climate.
To be honest, most of us take listening for granted. In fact, our brains love to try to multi-task: we assume we know what the person's going to say, so we let our minds wander, at the same time filtering it for similar experiences we've had, all the while formulating a response.
The problem is that while we are doing all that, we're not listening well, and we often risk subtle clues to important issues. This tendency to multi-task is almost universal. I see it with many of the clients I work with www.moleadershipcoaching.com
Good listening skills can help you:
· Facilitate the right alliances
· Foster sales and team alignment
· Create healthy personal relationships
· Find out what you don’t know
· Make the right decisions
· Develop innovative ideas
So many people I know, instead of actively listening, focus instead on how they are going to articulate their own views most effectively. This approach is misguided.
"Power listening—the art of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity—is the key to building a knowledge base that generates fresh insights," according to author Bernard T. Ferrari in his book, Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All (Portfolio Hardcover, 2012).
Unfortunately, business schools fail to teach power listening. Of the nearly 300 communications courses the American Management Association offers, only two deal directly with listening skills. Professionals must nonetheless write and speak more persuasively, so it’s essential to improve one’s listening capabilities.
Listening to someone is a direct way to show you care and value that person. You are giving your time, your attention, your self. This is HUGE and the person talking knows when they are truly listened to well.
As you expand your capacity to listen well, you will find that the same skill can be applied when you listen to God. You learn to quiet your thinking. You seek to hear everything. You learn to hear the voice of the God who made you.
One of the more effective ways to improve your listening skills is to work one-on-one with an executive coach or a spiritual director. As you can imagine, learning about it in a book won't give you the real-world practice you'll need to develop your power listening skills.
Suggested possible image, from Wikipedia page on Active Listening:
Take a couple minutes each day to stop and listen to God. Try to be intentional about listening with other. Taking regular pause inside and ask yourself if you are really listening. As a coach (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) I work in this area regularly and find leaders make great progress quickly when they decide to work on the skill of listening.
What are you doing to pay attention to this key skill of listening?
Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple