Listen to Understand
February 26, 2013 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute
Dedicating one-on-one time to your employees is an empty gesture unless you are truly listening. As Stephen Covey, author of the best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People put it, "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
All too often a leader will fail in their quest to listen because of a stray thought or a preoccupation with formulating a sentence of their own. Of course, truly listening is no simple task. People will ramble out of nervousness and, often unintentionally, dance around the point they are trying to make. But, as Lee Cockerell writes, " … hang in there, because you never know when a glimmer of an idea might shine through."
There is another reason to give someone your full attention. Remember our "3 oclock parade" question? The idea that what someone is asking versus what someone is trying to ask can be very different applies in this situation. Stay focused, read between the lines, and consider recapping what has been said so that you can be sure that you are understanding them fully and correctly.
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Posted in Leadership Excellence
Tagged Leadership Skills, Leadership Team, Effective Management, Executive Coaching, Employee Engagement Ideas, Communication Skills, Increase Productivity, Leadership Excellence