I’m thinking a lot about how well we listen. How well do you actually listen to the people around you? Do you think you listen well? Are you sure?
I think I listen well, most of the time. When I focus on it, which is often, I listen really well. But it is really easy to get distracted, and I’m not perfect. I get distracted at times just like everyone else. I used to listen badly, and I realized it thanks to some frank feedback from a former colleague.
When I am listening well, here are some things I do:
1. Turn the phone off, and put it away. If it is within reach and on, you might check it at the wrong time, and cost yourself a good listening opportunity.
2. Take notes. The data is clear. When we write things down, our ability to retain information goes up dramatically.
3. Repeat key things, like names. When I meet someone for the first time, I always repeat their name. The act of speaking the name increases my chances of being able to remember it.
4. When the meeting is over, review with your colleagues. If a colleague was with you, great. If not, it is still valuable to discuss the meeting and cover what was most important. Take more notes.
Here at The Latimer Group, we’re constantly thinking about how to lead and communicate better in the 21st century. And no matter what aspect of the topic we are thinking about, the ability to listen well always bubbles to the top of the discussion.
Be honest… how well do you really listen? Think about it…
Have a great day.