In groups and teams, we can all pay lip service to listening.
Here’s a challenge – next time you are in a meeting – ask yourself
“Am I really listening or am I just waiting for my turn to talk”?
Listening is a verb.
It’s a doing word.
Listening requires keen observation, focus and lots of self-restraint.
In a nutshell listening is about being present.
When I think of exceptional listeners, I think of actors reciting the same lines night after night in a West End run.
A compelling actor will have you on the edge of your seat.
To generate this audience engagement, they cannot preempt their next line by just waiting for the other actor to stop speaking.
All belief and enjoyment would be stripped from the story if an actor simply spoke in turn without “processing” what had been said to them.
Powerful actors are in a heightened state of “receiving”.
A knock out show is listening at it’s finest.
What value can be added to simply speak without processing what has been said to us?
Imagine what wisdom may come from our team meetings if we committed to the actors’ code – to actively receive and process what our colleagues say?
In the words of Doug Larson, he was a Columnist and Editor for two Wisconsin-based newspapers.
“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk”.