Monday, March 24, 2008

Thought for the Week - 3/24/08

“Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.” – Stephen Covey

We have often heard that effective communication is a critical skill needed for success. Whether we are leading, supervising, teaching, selling or any other job, communication skills are important.

We believe, however, that there is an even more important skill ... the skill of silence.
Are you willing to simply listen? How much more powerful would your communication be if you were actually "invited" to communicate.

Stephen Covey suggests that we should be listening and asking questions first. Then, when we do this well, Covey believes, people have a tendency to invite us to share our thoughts and opinions. When this happens, we are set up, even before we say a word, to be heard by the other person.

What do you think?


annabgilbert said...

Yes, I certainly agree!

No matter what level on the totem poll you find yourself, it is always worth improving your ability to listen and understand. It’s often easier to say that your boss or supervisor does not listen to you – but don’t forget to ask, “Am I fully listening to those who are communicating with me?”

Next time you speak with a friend, family member, colleague, or client how many questions do you ask them? Do you remember all their answers? Did they have a chance to answer all of your questions? (I wouldn’t ask you to do this if I had not already done it myself. It can be harder than it seems.)

Do enough of us really listen to take in and consider what the other person is saying? Or are we just waiting for the next free space to jump back in with our thoughts?

In case it’s helpful to remember, we have twice the number of ears to listen than of mouths to speak.

Thank you for having this open conversation!

Jim Rowell said...

I agree with Anna 100%. When we take the time to listen, I mean really listen, we create a communication atmosphere that often leads to others inviting us to share. How powerful would our communication be if a majority of the time we were talking was because we were specifically invited by someone else to share our thoughts? When we ask questions and listen to the answers people usually become curious as to what our thoughts are.