Please, Just Listen!

Morning Story and Dilbert

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
February 20, 2000

YOU MAY THINK THAT YOU ARE a great listener, and yet be guilty of “listening” but not hearing? You may even fake listening and reply with a response or solution designed to shut the person up.

When a person presents a problem, you tend to offer a solution, but solution-driven responses are not listening. You can’t solve a problem if you have not heard it. Besides, what makes you think you have the perfect solution?

Try three listening tips:

1. When your head is busy thinking up solutions, stop and ask yourself, what is this person’s voice telling me?
Does she sound angry, sad, disappointed? What facial expressions do you see?

2. If someone asks you, “What should I do?” be careful!
Rather than answer, say, “You’ve described a tough challenge. Tell me what you’ve tried?” or “I wonder what the real problem is. Before…

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