Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Creative Listening, redux

Back in March of 2005 I wrote a post titled, "How are you at Creative Listening?" I mention it here, again, because, just today, the idea that employees might not communicate as clearly as we might hope came up - not just once, but twice. Here, then, is an expert from that post:

"People are always telling us things. And more times than they probably realize, WHAT they tell us doesn't always make sense - at least not at first. One way to deal with that is to ignore whatever doesn't make sense. But that's a lesser strategy.

"The stronger approach is to become a Creative Listener, listening not just to what IS said, but to what might be MEANT by what is said, as well. This is particularly important when the subject matter is emotionally-charged."

So the next time that someone says something to you that doesn't quite make sense, give them the benefit of the doubt. Be patient. Ask questions. Say back what you're hearing to see if it's correct. Assume that there is an excellent nugget that's just too important to miss buried somewhere in their words.

You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there actually is.

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