Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Well, Shut My Mouth!

I have to admit something. Despite my best intentions, talking about it, and writing on the subject, I have a heck of a hard time listening. Active listening - aka my arch nemesis - is a valuable leadership skill that I continue to work on developing. When you're accustomed to making decisions and taking risks, listening doesn't come easy.

Listening Isn't "Getting Ready"
One of the challenges of my listening style is that I find myself getting ready to respond to what the other person is saying, typically long before they've had a chance to finish what they're saying. That's not listening, that's actually called ignoring.

Ignoring others is a bad thing.

Listening Is Listening
Another revelation I've had over the years is that when I do take the time to focus on what I'm hearing, good things usually are the result. It may be that the good thing is a greater understanding of the dynamics of a certain situation. Or, the good thing may be that I'm able to modify my response to better engage in the dialogue without sounding like an insensitive lout.

Being an insensitive lout is a bad thing.

How About You
What's your listening style? Have you found that as your breadth of responsibility has expanded that it is more difficult to fully listen because you're constantly juggling so many issues at the same time? If you've mastered the art of listening I hope you're willing to share...I'm all ears.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

photo credit


  1. This is a trait I'm still working on as well. My biggest issue is that I try to predict what the other person is saying instead of just listening. This sometimes results in not getting the full answer IN THEIR WORDS. Which is beneficial to know depending on the issue.

  2. I am the same way, Jay. I really need to focus myself on listening to the entirety of what someone is saying to me - I know how important it is to do this, despite the difficulty of wanting to always interject!