Silent Killer #2: Not Listening
To truly listen does not mean merely hearing or paying attention. Listening is a specific type of active interpretation that shapes our realities.
This largely unknown and certainly unrecognized skill is critical in the new business world. By blindly creating and/or tolerating working conditions in which people do not and often cannot effectively listen to one another, we kill productivity and profitability. This lack of listening can be the result of degenerative moods (e.g., institutionalized mistrust, resignation, or resentment), technology addiction (which can make it difficult for some people to actually talk to others), or a simple incompetence for speaking and listening. Regardless of the reason, if people are not listening to each other, accomplishing anything significant becomes extremely expensive, and making effective changes becomes all but impossible.
According to the International Listening Association, more than 35 studies indicate that listening is a top skill needed for success in business. Yet, less than 2 percent of all professionals have had formal education or learning to understand and improve listening skills and techniques.
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About the Author
Chris Majer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Human Potential Project, is the author of The Power to Transform: Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life (Rodale), which teaches the strategies corporate, military, and sports leaders have used to positively transform themselves and their organizations in a way readers can adept to their own lives and professions. He may be reached at www.humanpotentialproject.com.