Why aren’t we better at listening? Is it really skills or something deeper?
I’ve been intrigued by a 6 month, Leadership LinkedIn Discussion asking leaders to give “one piece of advice” for new leaders. With over 1300 comments, the discussion was skewed heavily toward one topic: effective listening. How leaders “listen” trumped all other discussion threads including transparency, honesty, and knowing yourself.
Julian Treasure’s Ted Talk, 5 Ways to Listen Better, attracted 1.5M views. Clearly, we know that bad listening is dangerous, or we wouldn’t be so interested.
- is contagious
- discourages future communication
- destroys trust
- erodes confidence
Listening deteriorates when we are
- already know the answer
- don’t really want input
We know how to listen
- Avoid multi-tasking
- Create a quiet time, free from distractions
- Ask Questions
Perhaps the problem is larger than listening
What we label as skills problems, may be deeper. Listen for what you choose to hear.
Look in the mirror for signs of lost