Remember to listen

Today’s lesson: Magic happens when you ask questions and listen. A few moments today were great reminders of this.

> Watching Q&A tonight.

I know we’re in a election period and I know whatever comes out politician’s mouths is effectively just a marketing campaign, but does that really mean we stick our fingers in our ears and la la la la?

Getting people to talk about politics can sometimes be like pulling teeth. Yet miraculously every three years we get to have a whole country conversation about what we want, what we care about and what Australia’s future should be. This is an opportunity to hear diverse opinions, hear crazy big ideas and – dare I say it – even change our minds.

Maybe because it’s late on a Monday night, but I just got real frustrated by the lack of discussion. Pyne and Albo just blurting out policies and skirting questions.

What would #auspol look like if we valued listening more than talking?

 

> Reviews at work.

A conversation today reminded me how important it is to ask questions and let people discover. We’ve got a (seriously awesome) placement student at the moment and today we did a mid-placement review. As a bit of a talker (my extroverted side coming out), I jumped right into evaluating her goals and then realised what I was doing. So I pulled back, asked questions and listened.

We ended up having a very different discussion than we were previously headed for. A discussion that created space for her to evaluate, explore and set new goals and actions that spoke to the core of challenge, not just what I’d observed on the surface.  A discussion that I didn’t drive, rather one where I listened and responded.

 

> What happens when you don’t listen.

I also had a moment today where I discovered someone had been given some very bad news over the weekend. I discovered this after they’d left work for the day. After I’d been super chirpy all day. I can imagine if I’d been feeling like them, that probably wasn’t the energy they wanted.

It was a reminder to listen. To listen even when going through the social niceties, the everyday dance of “how are you”. How easily we fall into the “good thanks” auto robot.
Listen. Ask. Be in the moment.

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