Manufacture Your Day by LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU
Have you ever spoken to someone and realized half-way through the conversation that you haven’t heard a word of what they had to tell you?
I hope this doesn’t only apply to me. This is very common in today’s day and age of “multitask” and “overwhelm”.
Truly listening to another person with the intent to understand is a very special skill to have.
- Awareness – find ways to remind yourself to become a better listener (buy a special coffee mug, put a sticky note on your laptop, wear your watch on the other hand, have a mindfulness reminder on your phone, etc.)
- Practice – theory alone never works, practice as much as you can
- Reflection – ask yourself, “How did I do today?”, “What can I do better tomorrow?’
to become a better listener.
Many (if not most) problems you encounter in the organization you work for would totally disappear if people would learn to “Shut up and listen”.
If you aim to become a better listener, it will benefit the relationships in your personal and professional life. Connecting with others means understanding somebody else’s point of view while keeping our ego in check.
That’s “dbp” (difficult but possible).
Here are 3 things to keep in mind once you get started (this works at home and at work):
- Mindset: Listening means win-win (not I win, you lose);
- Curiosity: Be open-minded even when you disagree (Your perspective is interesting. Tell me more. Why do you think we should consider to go this way?);
- Focus: Listen, take notes and don’t interrupt – just listen (refuse the urge to multitask, put your phone away);
In order to demonstrate how important it is to listen at work, I encourage you to read Mark Whitten’s (VP of Operations, Martinrea) article “The Importance of Listening to Employees”.
I know Mark from his time at Magna and it is great to see that the younger generation of leaders is willing to invest significant time to understand each other’s expectations. Bravo Mark!
Some people think they have nothing left to learn and improve but since you read my messages on a regular basis, I know that you’re not one of them.
Go for progress, not perfection and see how things will improve. The magic happens outside of your comfort zone.
Food for Thought:
How do your listening skills help or hinder you in your personal and professional life?
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