“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”
– Peter Drucker
We hear it time and time again. One of the key traits in effective leadership is the ability to listen. But I believe there’s a big difference between listening and hearing. You might be familiar with the term ‘pro-active listening’. Being frank, I’m not a fan. In my experience, most (not all) people who engage in pro-active listening are so into the process of what they’re doing that they usually miss the ‘invisible conversation’ i.e. what isn’t being said. And that’s usually where the money is…
You must have found yourself in conversations where despite looking at you intently and nodding their heads, you just knew you weren’t being heard. The best ‘hearers’ I know have one trait in common. At their very core, they care. And I don’t mean they’re soft. Not at all. In fact, they can often be perceived as being tough as nails. But they care enough to put their own judgements and opinions to one side. They care enough to call it as they see it, with respect. They care enough to just let you be yourself. And in that space magic happens.
Food for thought…
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