Lean Training Consultancy.

 

Listening

Are you Listening?

Do you Listen?

Written by – Cordell Hensley, KCTS Consultant

How well do you listen? If you have children, you are probably good at ignoring sounds and even speech from time to time, they can drone on! But at the work place when we are discussing an issue or problem with someone or coming up with a solution once we have identified the problem how often do we really listen to what the other person is saying? Are we truly listening or is our mind working away, trolling through the old files of possible responses or answers to the points that are being raised?

Some may argue that a quick wit is a sign of intelligence, and it may be, but it can also be a sign of a lack of listening. How can you possibly listen to what someone else says and then immediately have a retort? If you are thinking of the specific response to the statement, then you are not thinking about what is actually being said. We’ve probably all heard about the ratio of ears to mouth, 2:1 and at some point in our lives we have probably all been told to use that ratio in our efforts to communicate, but how easy is it to do, in practice? And how important is it for a leader?

How much “lip service” do we pay to actually listening to people, really listening? How much time do we set aside to just hear what they have to say and then go away and ponder? Do we really need to have all the answers? Do we need to have them straight away? To me being a leader is not about having all the answers, often it is the exact opposite, being able to say “I don’t know”. But to be able to do this we have to be able to listen to the issues and understand what it is that people are saying.

Without listening there is no communication, just because I have a response doesn’t mean I hear what you said, I may have heard the words but if I haven’t internalised the meaning and understood it, really understood it, then it may as well have gone from one ear to the other.

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