Give others your full attention, be present and engaged and set aside internal conversation in your head as best you can. Let go of your need to agree, disagree, or judge. Be empathetic and listen for the needs of others. Listen with curiosity and make sure you get all the facts, separating facts from interpretation.
When you read the description above, you may realize this is no small task. In our day-to-day lives, trying to get things done, especially through other people, this type of listening can seem nearly impossible.
It really is quite simple. It’s just a matter of doing it…over and over again. Just like every one of our fundamentals, it’s what we call a “practice.” This is a full-time, during all waking hours kind of a practice. If you’re like me, and appreciate a good list, and you have a commitment to reaping the benefits of this type of listening, here is what there is to practice:
- Give others your full attention
- Be present and engaged
- Set aside internal conversation in your head as best you can
- Let go of your need to agree, disagree, or judge
- Be empathetic and listen for the needs of others
- Listen with curiosity
- Make sure you get all the facts, separating facts from interpretation
If you are a leader within your company, think about all the people whom you have conversations with: direct reports, their teams, your peers, your team, maybe the board or other areas with the business, etc. Are you spending more time speaking or listening? Are you having a monologue or a dialogue? Are you telling or asking? If you took on listening generously as a daily practice, what difference would it make to you and those you interact with?
In our first round of Momentum Consulting’s Fundamentals, Craig states that when you let go of your point of view and work to listen from another’s point of view you get some “very powerful information.” This could be with individuals or with entire teams. You learn things. You find you have a much deeper reach into and a better understanding of what’s happening throughout the organization.
When you actively and generously listen to others within your organization, you gain valuable insight, and open the door to true collaboration. When we operate in a culture of collaboration, people feel safe. They also experience being valued and appreciated for their contribution. And in this kind of environment, we begin to operate in a kind of “flow” or “peak state.” It becomes fun, and we find ourselves being fully engaged in whatever process or project we are working on…together. I invite you to join us in making the impossible possible, one conversation at a time.
Happy Listening! Marlene