Listen Up

I did some follow-up with participants from a workshop I conducted last week with one of my global clients. I found a consistent message from each of them as to their takeaway from the session.

While they appreciated the content material I shared with them, the best part of the program was that I built in plenty of time for them to talk and listen to each other.

My belief about these sessions is that the wisdom is in the group is that is what makes the program successful. The problem is that not everyone knows that and they think their wisdom is greater than everyone else’s.

Fortunately, the leader of this group believes that and he demonstrated good listening, asked insightful and probing questions and made certain everyone was involved.

Getting others to listen up is not always easy but here are 3 ways you can help them:

  • Listen yourself: Modeling good listening sets the stage for others to do the same. Lean into the conversation, reflect on what others are saying and make additive statements.
  • Be direct: People like to give background information but that is often unnecessary and wastes time. Get right to your point and state it directly. If people want more information, they’ll ask for it.
  • Pay attention: Notice the energy in the room. If people are on their devices or seem to be drifting off, they’re not listening. Do a quick check in to make sure everyone is on the same page and that their agenda is also your agenda.

Listening is a core skill that we can improve on. It helps us mitigate challenges and stress if we can share information and understand what others are thinking and feeling.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2018


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