Listen up — or pay the career penalty
Monday, March 03, 2014
Posted by: Barbara Francella
Most people believe they are listening when others
talk. But believing something doesn’t make it real.
We live in a society where it’s not uncommon to read
an incoming text or email while sitting across the table from someone. You may
find yourself scanning the news while you’re on a conference call or mentally
preparing for one meeting while sitting in another one. You might even praise
yourself for your ‘multitasking’ talents and supreme levels of efficiency. But
at what cost?
to-do list might be shorter, but let’s face it, you are sacrificing real
moments of human connection that are far more important.
People with strong relationships get farther in life
and work, and they’re happier for it. Thriving doesn't come from a completed
to-do list. It
comes from fully experiencing your life and the people in it. This
can’t be done without heartfelt connection.
Related: "After networking: Are your connections working?"
If you are really listening to people (at work, at home
or at play), you
will hear far more than just what is being said. You will tune into the
subtext, which is often far more important. You will hear unspoken concerns and
challenges. You will be aware of the hidden interests and talents of people
you’ll just know people better. It’s one thing to have pleasant,
polite relationships. It’s another to see the unique light that shines in each
person and to feel a true connection.
So, back to my original question…are you really
listening? Here are a few statements to help you see if you are. How true are
these statements for you?
- In conversation, I focus on others and
their needs not just my own.
- I quiet my thoughts when others are
- I resist the urge to plan my response
when others are speaking.
- I make sure I've understood what someone
has said by confirming it with them (i.e. "So, what I’m hearing you say is…").
- I consciously listen beneath the surface
of what is being said so I can understand unstated concerns.
matter how strong your current listening skills are, I urge you to take them
This is a key skill that leads to thriving at work and in life.
Lisa Martin is a leadership coach, speaker and
author who has been helping people thrive for the past 15 years.
Views expressed in signed blogs and user comments are those of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive
Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.
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