- On June 9, 2015
It costs no money. It takes no extra time.
And it will transform how you lead.
The one thing that changes everything?
Suspend judgment. Quiet the response voice in your head that is crafting YOUR message as soon as the other person opens their mouth. For just a couple of seconds, be totally open and present (in your mind as well as your body) to what they are saying.
The next thing you say should be a statement reflecting what that person said, not your point of view.
Why is this so powerful? Why does this change everything?
You are making the person talking feel heard and valued…
And you learn something about that person and that relationship that you didn’t know before…
And this may make you respond differently when the moment becomes appropriate to share your opinion.
Try it with your boss. Lose the defensive stance or the anticipatory “I have it all under control” response. Try: “It sounds like …this project has high risk and you’re concerned about whether we’ve addressed those adequately.” “What do you need from me?”
Try it with your employees. Resist the urge to cut them off with a decisive statement. Try: “Sounds like you’ve been trying to get this under control; what else do you think is worth trying?” “What can I do to support you?”
Try it with your spouse, partner, kids. Want to relieve some of that stress you’re bringing home from the office? Listening to what’s important to the other people in your life will put your own swirling mind in perspective. Try: “What’s the most difficult thing that happened today?” “How would you like me to help?” End with a high note: “What’s the best thing that happened to you today?”
After you’ve taken that very powerful and still moment to listen, and reflect back to them that they were heard…what’s the second most powerful thing you can do?
Ask: “What support do you need from me?”
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