I follow a blog called Delancey Place, which excerpts interesting passages from printed books and articles. I’ve subscribed to the feed for several years and there’s always something intriguing to read in my inbox. Today, I learned about listening from Marshall Goldsmith: Listening is the key to looking smart and engage-able.
I printed this out and thumbtacked to my wall:
In today’s excerpt — listening:
“To learn from people, you have to listen to them with respect. [It is] not as easy as you might imagine…
The trouble with listening for many of us is that while we’re supposedly doing it, we’re actually busy composing what we’re going to say next — [During] your next personal encounter, try to employ the tactics we’ve outlined here:
* Don’t finish the other person’s sentences.
*Don’t say ‘I knew that.’
*Don’t even agree with the other person (even if he praises you, just say, ‘Thank you.”)
*Don’t use the words ‘no,’ ‘but,’ and ‘however.’
*Don’t be distracted. Don’t let your eyes or attention wander elsewhere while the other person is talking.
*Maintain your end of the dialogue by asking questions that (a) show you are paying attention, (b) move the dialogue forward, or (c) require the other person to talk (while you listen).
*Eliminate any striving to impress the other person with how smart or funny you are…
As an ancillary benefit, you’ll uncover a glaring paradox: “The more you subsume your desire to shine, the more you will shine in the other person’s eyes.”
Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Hyperion, Copyright 2007 by Marshall Goldsmith, pp. 148-156.
To whom could you be listening better — really listening?
I’m giving myself a challenge: think of the one person I have trouble listening to and employ a few of these pointers. Want to try it with me? It could be someone you’re close to, or someone you tend to avoid on a casual level.
Think of this as strength training for your communication skills and consider making just one change. I wonder where that one concession would lead? Is it worth it? Only you can say.
Comments are always welcome!