January 26, 2010

More on the role of the listener

  • It's a compliment if a friend describes you as "a good listener".
  • Leaders who "listen closely to all sides" prior to making a decision are highly regarded.
  • In many cases, listening has been professionalized: e.g., psychotherapists, clergy, and other anointed listeners.
  • Managers are taught "active listening skills", as if listening were solely a strategic tactic for engagement.
The rewards of listening, of hearing something as if you have never before heard it, of listening with the willingness to be changed by what you hear, are barely articulated.

We will not achieve a culture of story sharing unless we empower the role of listener.

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