In a time when so many in the workplace are being accused of disrespectful behavior, it is important for leaders to set the right tone, and model respectful communication (Tweet it!). And one of the most powerful ways to show respect is to listen…carefully and non-judgmentally.
New York Times “Corner Office” columnist Adam Bryant has interviewed a number of CEOs who subscribe to a practice known as MRI: the Most Respectful Interpretation. Robin Domeniconi, chief executive of the fashion company Thread Tales, told Bryant that “M.R.I.” was a cornerstone of her company culture. “I don’t need everyone to be best friends,” she said, “but I need to have a team with M.R.I.”
M.R.I. involves taking the time to hear what somebody is thinking— especially if their point of view contradicts your own—and taking the time to ask clarifying questions if something doesn’t make sense. Importantly, it allows us to give others the benefit of the doubt. Although uncomplicated, it confronts some of the main causes of organizational dysfunction: lack of communication and misperception.
How do you encourage your co-workers to feel heard, respected and understood? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.