Asma Zaineb says that listening is an effective way to forge a strong relationship with the other person or persons engaged in a conversation. It involves three steps:
- Receiving the message communicated by the sender
- Interpreting it for arriving at the meaning and
- Responding to the message.
Any coach or FSS provider knows these three steps, and we know how important they are. But sometimes in the course of a busy week, we forget. It took a statement from a colleague far outside the coaching and FSS profession to remind me of the importance of listening.
I was looking for a cute tag line to add to our correspondence. It was to be a marketing technique, really, just a line to remind Family Self-Sufficiency participants of the importance of letting us know about their progress towards their goals. “Something catchy and memorable,” I told everyone, “to remind residents to contact us when they’ve accomplished something.”
It was a fun exercise. Several of my colleagues in the office offered great suggestions, which we saved for future use. But the winner came from our Director of Security. Paul Daley, Director of Security for the Brockton Housing Authority, suggested more than one tag line, but his slogan that we liked best is “Here, we hear.”
That about says it all.
The Leadership for Success Institute, a not-for-profit organization in Toronto, Ontario, notes that we have been blessed with two ears and one mouth, so we are supposed to use them proportionally.
And so I can’t help wondering:
How much more effective would we be if we remembered to listen carefully?
How much more in touch with themselves would our Participants be, if we modeled this technique?
Would they stop missing out on important knowledge? Would we?
Prasann Ranade says that “Empathic listening allows one to broaden one’s perspective and expose themselves to new ideas.”