flowing motion

Active listening

Posted on: December 3, 2007

For fear of ever losing it, I must quote The Bumble Bee word-for-word here.

“Imagine you are the leader of a new team or network.

How can you quickly find out what each team member’s number one concern is about working in this scenario?

Dr Lewis recommends you get each of them to repeat the following 5 words out loud without thinking about it too much:

“We can’t do that here”

Listen carefully to which of the five words they stress – if it’s:

  1. We – they are worried about their identity
  2. Can’t – they are worried about their beliefs and values
  3. Do – they are worried about their skills
  4. That – they are worried about their behavior
  5. Here – they are worried about the environment”

UPDATE:  This heuristic is quite sophisticated listening, yet it is needed.  Even IT people struggle with comments like : We can’t do that here.  What exactly does someone mean when they say that.

Can we separate out the ideas a little more?

1  We – what will my friends and significant others think of me?

2  Can’t – that doesn’t make sense with the other things we think and do

3  Do – we don’t know how to do that, or manage that

4 That – we can do it another way but not like that

5 Here – what you suggest will harm this place

This is highly nuanced listening which helps to find a person’s underlying objection.

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2 Responses to "Active listening"

Nice post, great looking website, added it to my favorites!

Thank you Acarriaro!

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