Empathic Listening Can Be Learned
Ever wonder if people see you as a good listener? Or, conversely do you see yourself as a good listener? You’d be surprised at how many people think they are good listeners yet the opposite view is held by the people who know them.
I’ve seen it reported that in conversations people only acknowledge what the other person is saying less than 2% of the time. And from personal experience, I’d have to say in some of the conversations I’ve had that number would be on the high side. Think about it, do you wonder if the members of your team have heard and understood anything you’ve said? And if no one is listening, how much innovation can occur?
“When people talk, listen completely.
Most people never listen.”
Next time you are in a group conversation make it a point to observe the dynamics of the conversation, often you’ll discover that each member of the group has different sentiments, observations and opinions that will inevitably cause the conversation to pivot into friction. Conversations that morph onto a pivot of friction frequently conclude with a frustrating stalemate or an anointing of winners and losers.
Corporations are more likely than not to be based on firmly entrenched opinions and rarely are do we find a corporation that encourages flexible listening skills as a desirable management tool, in fact encouraging empathic listening within management ranks is often seen as encouraging dissent and chaos.
“We have two ears and one mouth
and we should use them proportionally.”
Not for a second am I suggesting that friction within a creative and innovative process is a bad thing, what I am saying is that friction against the ideas of other participants is counter productive. If we use our own ideas and words in an attempt to crush the ideas and vision of someone else within the team we have become saboteurs of innovation.
Ego run amok does nothing to stoke the fires of creativity and innovation, does nothing to build trust and community that are so important to business success in today’s competitive environment.
The Dialogue process not only teaches your organization how to tap into a deeper well of creativity and innovation but remarkably it does this using techniques and tools that will broaden your team members capacity for empathic listening.
And while at first look it may seem antithetical to success within business of any sort I assure you that learning how to give unconditional presence to the group is a winning tactic within a strategy where each team member is receptive to the thoughts and vision of each other member of the team.
Once the Dialogue process is incorporated into your system it’s like rolling a snowball down a steep hill, it becomes pure momentum that will inspire everyone.
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