Are you a good listener? When we pose this question to people in our learning events, most rate themselves as “above average” (a mathematical impossibility). When we ask what good listening consists of, the most common themes are: not interrupting, letting others know you are listening by using nonverbal encouragers (“uh-huh”, “mmm-hmm”) and paraphrasing, by repeating back what the other person has said.
However, new research, conducted by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of the Zenger/Folkman Leadership Development Group, suggests that these behaviors fall far short of describing great listening skills.
Their four main findings:
Not every conversation requires the highest levels of listening, but many conversations would benefit from greater focus and from the intention to listen interactively.
As a listener have you engaged in any of these practices? What else has worked for you? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear your feedback.
A manager’s job and communication style must change as their team expands. Writing in The Harvard Business Review, Julia Zhuo, vice president of design at Facebook and author of The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks To You, explores some of the necessary adaptations.
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin notes that people would come from far and wide to hear Abe Lincoln speak, even when he was simply a prairie lawyer. From his “stage” atop a tree stump, Lincoln “could simultaneously educate, entertain, and move his audiences,” she writes. Although times have changed, human nature has not, and Lincoln’s speaking techniques are as compelling as ever.
Writing In The Harvard Business Review, Harvard instructor and communication author Carmine Gallo credits Lincoln’s gift for storytelling as key to his ability to captivate audiences. She goes on to enumerate some key differences between mere “presenters” and compelling storytellers.
What might you do to add elements of great storytelling to your next presentation? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear from you.
Today’s world is primed for instant gratification. We often feel pressure to reply immediately to emails and texts, and even in conversation. We fear “dead air” and so hasten to say no something…anything...even when responding to a complex question.
However, numerous business leaders—notably Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos—are known for taking a pause in conversation in order to carefully consider what they will say next. Justin Bariso, author of EQ Applied, writing in Inc., notes that while those on the receiving end of 10, 20, even 30 seconds of silence may feel uncomfortable at first, their reward is a thoughtfully considered answer…the result of critical thinking that would be impossible without taking time.
According to Bariso, embracing “awkward silence” allows us to:
When was the last time you allowed a buffer of silence before addressing a complicated topic—and how do you feel when others do so? To join the conversation, click "comments" above. We would love to hear from you!