November 21, 2016
While Eating Turkey This Week, Practice Listening
A lot has been written and said about how difficult Thanksgiving might be for some who will be sitting down with friends or relatives who disagree with their views about the elections this year. Check out "How to Have Thanksgiving Dinner Without a Family Blowup".
As I have written in numerous books and articles, we all need to become better listeners in order to lead or work effectively. We might as well use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to practice these skills. That way, even if we're screaming inside at Aunt Hilda or Uncle Harry's views that we think are unsavory, we can continue to ask open-ended questions, breathe and view our time spent with them as a chance to hone our skills. (Always a better option that hurling the cranberry sauce.)
"We all need to become better listeners 
in order to lead or work effectively"

What Should You Do? 
  • My own suggestion, as always, has been to listen as a witness to opposing views, meaning: how would you listen if you knew that you were going to be called as an impartial witness in court.
  • Ask open-ended questions, those that begin with who, what, where, when, as opposed to those that can be answered with yes or no.
  • Remember that puzzlement and confusion are good in this situation. Try to remain genuinely curious about opposing views and how the speaker arrived at his or her position.
These will be archived in the Library of Congress as a part of the effort to record and preserve the lives and memories of a generation. The effort to make history will give you something to do other than argue!

Did You Know?

All of our workshops involve some kind of listening activity, since active listening is such an important management practice. For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

Be sure to read Lynne's helpful books on handling tough conversations with employees and bosses.

Workplaces That Work | (303) 216-1020 | [email protected] 
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