I’m All Ears – The Art of Listening

All ears It’s an interesting time in America right now.

Is anyone listening?

When I work with groups in my corporate gigs, I teach soft skills in leadership and communication. I teach conflict resolution and how to give productive, well accepted feedback that doesn’t escalate to conflict. But…

Emotions are running high lately in our society. We do have conflict.

Listening

Some people are refusing to accept our reality. Some people are upset and reeling. Some people are stunned and surprised. But, is anyone really listening?

When I teach communication classes I tell the participants how important it is to get agreement with stakeholders before proceeding to next steps. Here is the key:

If the agreement comes too easily, you probably have a problem. Yep, read that one again….

Easy agreement often means the other person hasn’t been actively participating in the conversation. They have no stake in what you say and they have no ideas to add. Do you really think they’ll follow you and your idea to fruition? I’ll give you this – sometimes, you’ll get 100% agreement immediately. That isn’t always a good sign either, because it could indicate  Groupthink – a very poor decision making condition. Know this  –  Silence is NOT consent.

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The Path’s Purpose

Have the planets aligned? It’s New Year’s Day and a perfect chance for me to harangue you with a bunch of questions, like “What’s your word for 2016?” “What big, audacious goals are on your horizon?” “What steps do you have planned to achieve your dreams this year?” or “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?”

© 2015 Diannepoinski.com
© 2015 Dianne Poinski Photography

Not. This. Year.

I think 2016 is time for a grace period. Why? Well, I recently saw this from my friend,  Joseph White Wolf:

My New Years resolution is to not change a thing about myself and to simply love myself just the way I am… Never do I want to change the path that I am on, my path is here to change me… ”                                           

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