In our last post, we talked about a few key steps you can take to become a better listener. But there will always be obstacles inhibiting our ability to listen. One of those obstacles is bias — the idea that we have preconceived ideas about who we’re communicating with, which prevents us from being fair and objective with our colleagues.
Overcoming that Listening Bias is crucial to becoming a better listener and communicator. And the first step, to paraphrase the old cliche, is recognizing that the problem exists. Once we see in ourselves where our predispositions lie, we can much more easily take strides to not let that bias influence our mindset as we communicate. We can ask questions, start a dialog, look for clarity, and focus objectively on the topic being discussed.
When we can see past our own biases, we’re much more likely to find common ground, build consensus, and persuade our audience.