We often hear that listening is such an important skill to better develop within ourselves. Most of us strive to be better listeners. However, the reality is that it can be very easy to fall into the trap of always wanting to share our beliefs, ideas, opinions, and suggestions without really taking the time to deeply understand others.
How often do we take the time to dig more deeply into the perspectives of others and to better understand why they think the way that they do? How often do we take the time to ask questions that probe beyond a superficial level?
When was the last time you asked more questions in a conversation (personal or professional) with another person than being the one to do the majority of talking?
Here’s a little test for you. Take just one day to focus on the number of questions that you ask others. Don’t set the intention to ask more questions, just go about your normal day as you would. In doing so, try to be more self-aware of the questions that you ask others. Be more aware of how much time you devote to listening to their answers and asking even more questions to dig deeper into their thoughts.
Our work can be greatly enhanced by becoming better listeners and asking better questions. As I aim to be a better listener myself, these are things that I am reflecting on.