Thursday, April 11, 2013

Do 1 Thing Different Series - #4 Listen More - Talk Less

This is the forth in a series on the challenge for the month of April - "Do I Thing Different".   This series is where you allow me to be your coach and ask you to consciously make changes that are easy and that you will notice.

So how are you doing so far?  Put anything into practice yet? Well if nothing has yet to appeal to you, I'm certain this one will!  Why?...because it's one of the hardest things for most people to do!

Suggestion #4: Listen More - Talk Less...and I  mean really listen!
First let me say I think listening is a skill - it takes practice.  Additionally knowing not only how to listen but what to listen for is equally as important.

So to help with this tip, I recommend implementing it in this way. It's easy and practical in one sense, but will take discipline in another.  Also, this is layer one.  To become really skilled at listening will require practice of a variety elements.

How To Listen
Do you know that the greatest psychological need anyone has is to be and feel heard? Listening very much meets that psychological and emotional need if it is done well and combined with other effective communication techniques.

Listening is a very active activity, though I’m sure some would see it as passive. It takes effort to try and understand not necessarily what the person said, but what they meant (and what is not being said).

Also, it’s important to note that most misunderstandings are due to people assuming and adding meaning to what someone has said - judging the motives and intent of the other person.

This point is so important, I’m going to state it one more time. Most misunderstandings are due to people assuming and adding meaning to what someone has said - that was not the intent of the other person and then we respond or act on to that misunderstanding. 

Listening is a two-step activity, meaning you hear and then you ask for clarity. Please don’t assume that you know what people mean. Just assume you don’t and that will open up your mind to the real meaning, not your assumed meaning.

So here’s your power tip for becoming skilled at listening. Use the “Golden 6”. These are words that prompt the person communicating to add more information, so that you can gain a better understanding of what they mean. It's like prompting them to tell you more of the story, but in a guided way based on the questions you use.

Now, you are going to laugh when I tell you what my “Golden Six” are: very simply - Who, What, When, Where, How and Why?   You will be absolutely amazed at what greater understanding you will garner when you use these six power words when listening to someone. Try it and see…you’ll be amazed!

Coaching Tip: This practical technique for active listening is a great way to apply suggestions #4 - listen more - talk less.  Imagine the impact this "do 1 thing different" tip could have on your relationships at home and work. Consider how much more you learn about people and your environment that otherwise you would never notice.

This blog is based on this book: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness  In it are actionable ideas on being a better manager.  Take the "do 1 thing different" champaign to your organization - transform a team, department, or company in a month with the ideas in this book. You'll also find it on Kindle.

Reminder: Don't miss a thing - subscribe to this blog in the following ways: 
Get the app  |  Email (scroll up - top left)  |  Kindle

No comments:

Post a Comment