DO YOU LISTEN LIKE YOU’RE AT A HIGH SCHOOL REUNION? THAT’S A PROBLEM.

6 Dec

Have you tried this communications exercise?

Two people face each other. The first person starts to talk about a topic, say the results of the latest sporting event. The second person listens to the first, and as soon as they hear something where they can start another conversation they jump in with their topic. The first then listens for an opening and when they see one jump in with another topic.

The exercise is called “The High School Reunion”, and if you’ve been to a reunion you know exactly why it’s named such.

To be clear, there is listening going on.

But the listening is only occurring so that each person can turn the conversation to what they want to talk about.

This form of listening might help you get through an event like a reunion, but it’s an awful form of listening for a leader.

Rather than listening so they can turn the conversation to their side, effective leaders listen with the intent of truly hearing their team members: According to research from Dr. Brad Shuck of the University of Louisville, leaders who listen:

~ are present for the team member,

~ they listen without distractions, outside or otherwise, and

~ stay present in the moment.

Effective leadership is about listening, and doing so with compassion and empathy.

#leadership #engagement #compassionateleadership

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