Category Archives: Listening

Why Being a Good Listener is More Important Than Ever

Why Being a Good Listener is More Important Than Ever

Listening is a big topic at The Latimer Group. We write on our blog and teach in our workshops about things like active listening and listening bias, as well as some specific tactics on how to listen better. But today I want to write about why being a good listener is so important.

Listening, at its most basic level, is essentially a commitment to two-way communication. If I refuse to listen, then I am only interested in communication in a single direction — from me to you. But that kind of communication is selfish and short-sighted.

There are many challenges of 21st century communication and leadership. And the common denominator of these challenges is that no one really listens to anyone anymore. Everyone is so obsessed with being heard, that no one takes the time to hear!

As I often do, I relate this business challenge to the relationship I have with our young son. He asks a million questions, every day, and everything we ask him to do is greeted with questions as to why. Emily and I made a pact with each other when he was born that we would always try to be patient with him, and that we would always encourage him to ask questions and have a vibrant mind. So far, so good. But encouraging questions all the time is exhausting! There are many times I wish that he would stop asking questions and just do what we ask him to do. That might feel good in the short term, but it won’t pay off long term. Why? Because we don’t want a child who just shuts up and does what he is told. We want him to think, to seek to understand, to be alive every moment of every day.

And that, at its essence, is why listening to colleagues and being committed to two-way communication is so important. Do you want people who just do what you tell them to do? Or do you want people who think for themselves, and have the confidence to ask questions and make decisions? I think the answer, for most of us anyway, is the latter.

Make long-term investments in your people and your organization. Create an organization where people are encouraged to think, discuss, debate, and yes, disagree. And to create this kind of an organization, we must set a tone for two-way conversation, which by definition, means we have to know how to speak and how to listen.

Good luck!

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

 

Does Your Message Create a Void of Understanding?

Does Your Message Create a Void of Understanding?

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Make Them Care. Make Them Feel The Problem

Make Them Care. Make Them Feel The Problem

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Ten Years of iPhone, and One Call We’d Like to Make

Ten Years of iPhone, and One Call We’d Like to Make

With the much anticipated introduction of the newest iPhone last week, there’s been a lot of reflection on how our lives have changed in the 10 years since Apple introduced the first iPhone. I still recall the moment I realized how much my life would change; I was sitting in a carpool line waiting for… Continue Reading

Video: Are You an Executive Level Communicator?

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Presentation Tips: “Everyone Hears Uniquely…”

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. Recently I was collaborating with a colleague to create an audio exercise for a workshop on storytelling. We selected outstanding clips of stories to share in class as examples to help people generate their own ideas and learn what makes a compelling… Continue Reading

Robin Williams, Depression and Friendship: Three Years Later

It has been three years since Robin Williams passed away, and we wrote this post right after he died. What we wrote then is just as true and valid today…  perhaps more so. Great communication in the workplace is about more than clarity, brevity, etc… things we write about all the time. Great communication in… Continue Reading

4 Communication Missteps Men Make in the Workplace

Earlier today, I had a LinkedIn conversation with a good friend named Bryan, who also happens to be a member of Latimer’s Board of Advisors. Bryan had read a recent blog post of ours about the language mistakes some women make in the workplace. And Bryan’s request and challenge to me was now to write… Continue Reading

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