What will you spend the most time doing at work today? Meeting? Planning? Problem solving? According to the United States Department of Labor we will all invest 55% of our time at work today listening!
Now, here is the important question. Are you listening to really understand what the other person is trying to convey, or are you listening to simply craft your response? The answer to that choice will be the single most important indicator of your success as a leader.
For the rest of the day, when someone speaks to you do these three things:
- First, stop what you are doing and really listen to what they are saying.
- Second, suspend judgment. Ask them to give you an example of what they are talking about, or ask them why they believe it is important. Force yourself to dig deeper with them.
- And finally, thank them for even taking the time to speak with you.
Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, “It is the privilege of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” This would be a good day to grow a little wiser!