My Phone is Way More Important than You
When you look at your phone during a conversation, that is exactly what you’re saying. Though the communication is nonverbal, it lands the same as “whatever random person may be texting/calling/emailing me is more important to me than you and whatever you’re saying.”
Is that what you intended to say?
As a society, we seem to have a short little span of attention! We are bombarded with so much information and media, that we are easily distracted and looking for new stimulation.
Do you feel impatient for conversations to end? Do you feel tempted to interrupt, offer your opinion or finish their sentences before the other individual is done?
It’s a fast-moving world and it’s understandable we feel this way, but when we don’t take the time to listen well, we are certainly short-changing others, but primarily we are short-changing ourselves. We cheat ourselves out of both new learning and deeper relationships.
But perhaps the costliest result of not listening well in business is the most paradoxical; by not taking the time to listen, we cost ourselves and the company time. Time spent fixing issues which arise from not hearing everything the first time. You may have been able to redirect a staff member to different resources, identified and headed off two similar initiatives, or even heard the germ of a truly original idea.
There are additional benefits to both parties from listening well:
- Higher productivity – problems solved faster with fewer duplicated efforts or heated arguments
- Increased trust – listening to individuals generates respect and trust
- Fewer mistakes – information received is more accurate
- Increased confidence – self-esteem goes up when we feel we are heard
Do you have examples of listening well – or poorly – you can share? I’m listening!
FUNDAMENTAL #2: LISTEN GENEROUSLY Give others your full attention, be present and engaged and set aside the 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 interpretations.