Listen Like Your Life Depends Upon It
We live in a world where we all have a lot of balls in the air, change is constant and the ink is barely dry before we are on to the next task on hand.
Learning to slow down and listen and I really mean deeply listen to what is being said is a skill. It often takes multiple levels of questions or even the same question repeated before what’s really important surfaces. I often notice that after every one thinks you’re done and ready to move on to the next question or event that the conversation gets juicy and some of the best ideas have an opportunity to come to fruition.
Some times listening takes on the form of listening for what’s not being said too. Tim calls it “you could hear crickets in the room” when he notices that questions are being asked but not enough time or trust is present for the answers to be spoken. As a long time business and leadership coach and facilitator I’ve noticed patterns of behavior that I now more intently listen for without any expectations or judgment of how to respond because each person and team has its own unique path.
Unfortunately our non-listening “keep the ball rolling” habit even affects listening to your self too. I notice more and more people looking outside of them self and team for the answers. I often find myself saying the answer is already here – we just haven’t tapped into it yet.
Coming from a sales background I learned about Pareto Principle which when applied listening would look like this ask questions 20% of the time and listen 80% of the time.
I Challenge and Invite You To Give This A Try
Talk 20% of the time and deeply listen 80% of the time during a coaching session, a team member 1:1, a team meeting or even a strategic planning session. You can even do this with yourself – spent 2 minutes clarifying a question you want to answer and then set the timer for 8 full minutes and still with it. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.