• Jim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip – 1/10/22: Listen More

Today’s Tip: Listen More

How about a New Year’s resolution to improve your listening and speaking skills?

Research shows many leaders speak too fast when working with staff, students and parents. Here are four things to try:

  1. Instead of responding with a statement, ask three questions first.

  2. Pause. Silence is powerful. Count silently to five before responding.

  3. Can you tell me more? This simple question invites people to share and gives you time to really understand their issue.

  4. Assume a good intent…even when you have to suspend your disbelief.

Did you ever realize the perfect thing to say to somebody — only it’s too late, because you already said something less effective?

I hate when that happens. One way to have it happen less often is not to rush into saying things before you have to. A short pause can be sufficient–even just counting to five before replying.

I’d recommend saying this quietly, to yourself — although if you do it out loud intentionally, you’ll certainly send a message to the other person in your conversation.

In short, silence speaks volumes, and when you’re not talking, you’re most likely thinking, or even listening. You’re also not digging rhetorical holes. So the five second pause can be a powerful tool.

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