This is the number one breakdown in any organization. | Fundamental #2

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while, knows something.” –Wilson Mizner

The number one breakdown in any organization is communication.

At Momentum Consulting, our commitment is to train leaders and teams to communicate effectively and responsibly. The focus is primarily on the listening part of communication.

I often tell clients that no matter how eloquent of a speaker you are, if your attention isn’t on how the listener is hearing you, your message will fall short.

In other words, we teach you how to be accountable for others’ listening and how you’re listening to others. 

How do you influence how others’ listen to you?

You start with learning how to listen. The first step is to understand that we are typically listening to the conversation we are having in our head about what the other person is saying.

We are not really listening to them as we assess what they are saying based on our own values, beliefs, and experiences. Then we respond based on our interpretation of what we think we heard.

Sometimes we get it right, but most of the time there’s more to understand.  Can you recall a successful conversation you’ve had lately? What made it successful?

Most likely, you had the experience of being heard and/or were able to really understand what was important to the person speaking.

I have found that people just want to be heard. We don’t have to agree or believe what they are saying to give them our ear.

The key is to acknowledge that it’s important to them and they believe it to be true. This does not require you to give up your belief or opinion. 

Listening to someone else promotes an environment of trust and partnership. 

We all have the ability to really listen to others.

We make the effort with clients and customers all the time. We do that because those relationships impact our success.

If intentional listening helps succeed with our customers, imagine the benefit listening consciously could have on all our relationships.

I ask my clients to consider their teams are their “internal” customers. If you promote a listening culture, you will most definitely increase engagement and productivity. 

Here’s my challenge to you…pick one conversation a day and practice listening from the perspective of the person who is speaking.

Ask questions, engage, and focus your attention on them.

What outcomes did you get? I would love to hear from you!

Listening powerfully,

Martha Lynn
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.

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