Be the Change you want to see- Mahatma Gandhi

I will share a secret which won’t be after today, I have a post-it note on my laptop which says LISTEN MORE 80% TALK LESS 20%.

It’s not always easy as I talk for a living but I have gradually learnt to listen more. It’s a necessary quality for a Coach. I don’t always succeed but I’m getting better at this.

The 80/20 is so very hard in fact it takes a lot of effort to keep quiet but I’ve realised I have this habit of breaking the other person off when they talk, now it happens less. Interrupting another is not only disrespectful but it’s not helpful at all. I see this a lot on TV debates and interviews, and it hardly helps to promote a respectful encounter or exchange of ideas.

As for listening with effort and intent this means unless I make a concerted effort I don’t remember what the other person said.

To make this habit sustainable I have to keep reminding myself to keep do it, and when I know it is not happening I am aware.

One of the qualities of a good leader is the able to listen and learn, yes leaders need to learn constantly. Leadership is not about telling  but about getting a measure of what the other person feels, needs and wants. It is also about inspiring others to raise their game.   It doesn’t mean as a leader you can fulfil the other person’s aspirations but one must definitely try to understand them. I’m not a fan of the word ‘understand ‘ as there is a connotation of being standing under. Instead it should be standing next to the other in an emphatic way. 

I will leave you with this thought of the day, if today you can try to listen 40% of the time when you are in a dialogue with another, see if you learn something more about the other person. You’ll be surprised.  You may find by allowing others to speak without interruption and by allowing them to be heard, the conversation will be much better in quality, outcome and energy.

Have a remarkable day.

16th March, 2022