November 15, 2019

Communication Without Listening is Not Communication

“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply.”
Stephen R. Covey

You’re walking down a hallway, heading to a meeting. Your mind is running through your talking points, your arguments, your agenda.
Still in your head, you grab the door handle and enter the meeting – ready for your showdown.

How often do we enter a conversation or a meeting with the sole focus of getting our point across?

We ignore the other participant/s altogether. We pretend to listen, but really, we are just thinking about our story for a knock-out come-back.

Here’s the thing:

Communication is a two-way street. It’s a dialogue. Yet we spend the majority of any conversation in our heads.

Shut down to any ideas from others.
Shut down to any legitimate concerns.

Communication is not just about delivering your points.

It’s about listening – really listening with the intent to understand.
It’s about collaboration – two (or more) heads are better than one.
It’s about keeping on open mind and embracing curiosity.
It’s about respect, caring, and kindness.

Improving communication skills is for everyone – whether you are a CEO, manager, or an employee.

Next time you are heading to the meeting – before your hand reaches for the door handle – pause. Take a breath. Clear your mind. Then enter.

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Stephen R. Covey