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Listening: A Powerful Skill

November 25, 2012

Daily ReadListening: A Powerful Skill

We think of presentations and speech-making as powerful leadership skills but what about listening? Everyone wants to learn how to become a better speaker, but few invest much time or effort in becoming great listeners. Listening feels and looks passive. In most organizations, status is achieved through action. Yet, if you listen well, you’ll know more, see more, and understand more. Here’s how to learn to be a better listener:

  1. Doodle – while listening, it helps you retain more and resist intervening.
  2. Take notes – on questions that occur to you or salient points you want to reflect on later. This helps you actively listen and respond internally.
  3. Pay attention to the subtext – i.e.; the implied meaning. Ask yourself what is not being said, what assumptions are being made or topics being avoided?
  4. Listen for the need – is it reassurance? More data or resources? Listen to the emotion.

Being a good listener doesn’t mean you have to be silent. It means that, when you speak, everyone listens.

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