Friday, August 12, 2011

Hard of Hearing

There’s a great quote that says “The person most interested in what you have to say is you.”  I didn’t know where it came from so I looked it up and lo and behold guess whose picture was next to the phrase to serve as an illustration of what it means:  Mine.

Damn, I hate when that happens.

Listening and Hearing
I’m in a job that requires a fair amount of talking on my part.  I present information, I facilitate meetings, I speak to community groups, and my team bounces ideas and questions off me regularly and expects an answer.  I do a lot of talking.  But effective leaders do more listening than talking…and that’s where I have to stay disciplined so I not only listen, but actually hear what others are telling me.

Listen to Myself
One of my favorite mantras is that I don’t have to come up with any good ideas…I just need to make sure I implement good ideas.  Here’s the challenge for me with this mantra:  in order for me to implement good ideas I have to hear them first.  Are you with me?  So I’m going to integrate a listening-focus into my work in the same way that I adopted low and slow many years ago and still use today.

How About You
Are you in a job that requires a lot of talking?  Do you find yourself planning what you’re going to say next even while the other person is still speaking to you?  How has that worked?  Are you hard of hearing?  What?  What??

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of immaci


  1. My role could be filled with talking but my greatest success when dealing with employees or leaders comes from listening. Early in my HR career I thought I was a fortune teller or "giver of all the good advice". As I matured, I found that the individual learned more if they talked through their issue and helped come up with their own solution. This forced me to be a listener instead. It was the moment I realized how to truly help people.

    I save many of my thoughts I would like to share out loud for my writing.

  2. Thanks Trish. Great perspective on listening...not only that it's helpful for us as leaders, but more importantly that it allows the person in need to talk through their issues and do much of the problem-solving on their own.