Over-Estimating Listening Skills
Although research consistently shows that listening is critical to leadership effectiveness, many leaders still appear to be lacking in this area. A recent study conducted by the Center for Leadership Development and Research at Stanford Graduate School of Business showed that boards of directors gave poor listening grades to CEOs. In fact, “listening” and “conflict management” were the skills least mentioned as strengths of the over 160 CEOs in the study.
Writing for the Harvard Business Review Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, founders of Isis Associates consulting, note that many people overestimate their listening abilities. Listening suffers when we are preoccupied with our own performance; when we are too busy anticipating what will be said next and how to respond; and when we are not open to having our minds changed.
Please share your experience: Whether or not you consider yourself a good listener overall, what have you noticed that either interferes with or promotes good listening? Join the conversation and click "comments" on our Community of Practice Forum.
5/14/2014 02:49:25 am
Recently, I overheard a conversation at a meeting I attended where most people didn't know each other. A lady came in, sat down, and said to the folks on either side of her,"I just learned before coming that I became a great gramma today." The two ladies on each side immediately told her about THEIR experiences in the same situation. Soon a gentleman from about 3 chairs away walked up behind the new great gramma, knelt down and proceeded to ask her several questions about the baby. The lady beamed! I learned a good lesson there.
5/14/2014 07:40:16 am
Thanks for this Sally. We were just talking with a colleague about this sort of inadvertent "take-away" when instead of listening and staying connected with the content of another person, we use their comment as a launching pad for something in our own life. A hard habit to break -- and as you say we "beam" inside and out when someone really does listen ...to us.
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