There was time where I would gladly smile at someone, nod my head and pretend to listen them.
I admit, I was one of those people in a business meeting who had The Girl of Ipanema playing in their head smiling while someone else was talking.
I was also the person who would listen to someone just long enough to prepare my own thoughts and next statement about me. Always thinking about myself no matter what the other person was saying. I was a pretty poor listener.
I am going to step out on a limb here and suggest that many of you are in the same boat…
Often times, you listen just long enough to the other person to interject your ideas.
So what’s wrong with listening only at this level?
There is nothing wrong if you are only listening to gather information, like asking for directions. However, listening in this fashion is not conducive to creating and managing effective relationships in business or at home.
In relationships, both business and personal you want to listen actively to gain understanding, to inform decisions, to build partnerships, to make solid agreements and to negotiate. If you are listening only with your next thought in mind, you miss out on building mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties.
It took me becoming a performance/leadership coach to fully understand the art and practice of active listening, particularly in the context of listening to others, building relationships and achieving outcomes. [Read more…] about Warning: You May Finally Learn How to Listen