This is a confession - a confession that isn't dramatic or really all that juicy. But a confession in that we must recognize when we fail and work to be better so we don't repeat the failure.
There is a time to speak, and there is a time to listen. And the truth is that listening is an art form that many of us don't have.
Have you caught yourself doing any of the following:
- While having a conversation - thinking of something other than the words of the person speaking
- While listening - already formulating your reply to whatever the other person is discussing without really hearing them.
- Speaking and saying things that don't move the conversation forward or help in solving a problem
- Read body language
- Think/Assess the situation
- Speak only to affect change
- Not only hear - but listen to the speaker and identify ways to help
Any effective coach, leader or manager must hear the pulse of the team, company or office they work in. They must listen to the stresses and strains and act accordingly to keep everything moving in the right direction. And they must be perceptive according to the needs of the group.
Without listening - we have missed the boat. So recently, I have missed the boat. Good news though - we are all works in progress that can be better and become better people/leaders.
So listen, really listen and you will be amazed at what you hear.