Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 9, 2006 - Being Heard and Not Ignored Part 4

Having something to say, knowing the language and speaking with conviction allow you to get your thoughts out. Now you will need to be quiet.

Listen to others. For those of us who think we have a lot to say, this is the toughest part. We are constantly thinking of the next answer or defense for what the person across the table is saying. I learned some time ago that my ideas aren’t the only ones and sometimes they aren’t evens the best. The team you lead and the people you support, both management and business, are there because they have competence in their area. Granted, there are always exceptions to the competence rule, but in general they know their stuff.

There are many books the encourage “active listening” that involves looking at the individual, nodding at key points they make and commenting back on what they said. These actions make the speaker feel as if she is being heard. This is great as long as you really hear what is said. You can easily nod your head and say “yup…yup…yup” and never hear anything.

Once you have heard what was said, process it. If it makes sense, act on it. Adjust your opinion, thoughts or plans. If it doesn’t fit with the program, explain your reasoning and move on.

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