Listening For Sight
Perhaps the most underrated social emotional capacity.
We demand it of children in classrooms, but in the form of compliance, not empathy.
As professionals and leaders, of course, we listen. But has it changed?
What if listening is really more about our sense of sight than our sense of hearing?
I recently heard this during a coaching session:
“People tell me I should be the coach, not have a coach.”
Translation: I am nervous and unsure of what to expect. I need you to honor my experience and strengths.”
“I haven’t always asked permission to make changes, some people view that as not being warm or fuzzy.”
Translation: I need help understanding the impact of my words and actions on others.
“I want to improve the culture, have more upbeat team meetings, things like that.” Translation: I need help understanding what culture is and what it looks, feels, and sounds like.
Listening challenges us to do more than hear.
It challenges us to read and see emotion, often a silent companion to words and actions.
It dares us to probe more deeply into conversations.
And it calls us suspend judgement. If we can’t hear or see clearly, we need to ask more questions.
How do you listen? What is the impact of listening on your people and practice?