Mediocre listening. Something I see a lot when working with groups.
Nowadays it seems everyone has a point to make. Our culture rewards show and tell. Listening seems to have become an afterthought.
We wait for a pause … so we can interject and draw attention to our expertise. We ask questions that shift the conversation away from what’s been said onto our agenda.
Trying to outdo – or undo – the other speaker’s point sets us apart and breaks rapport. Inadvertently we deny ourselves the opportunity to build trust and real influence.
When we miss the chance to ask a good question … one that might have taken the speaker’s idea to a deeper level … we also miss thoughts that need to be clearly heard.
And, when this happens, meetings quickly deteriorate into conversational ping-pong. We each make our points, and the conversation goes back and forth, around and around, with no resolution or decision. Ironically everyone ends up feeling unheard and frustrated.
That’s a shame because meetings don’t need to be toxic. There is a different way.
The bottom line
Get real: Do you listen with your full attention, or do you just wait to talk?
Get prepared: Become aware of and calm your inner dialogue.
Get savvy: Notice and modify your interruption patterns.
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