Wednesday, May 02, 2007

IF/THEN: understand/understood

Those members of this profession whom I most admire have always been keen leaders. But first they've been tremendous listeners.

I've watched them sit and let colleagues/customers/analysts drone on at length without opening their mouths.

They take notes.

They don't play obvious "attentive body language" games.

They work hard to see what's going on around them in a clear light.

They are observers of how organizations work, and how the people in them interact.

Then they get their flashlights out and illuminate the dark places, shining light on those questions that their companies haven't had the ability (or perhaps the desire) to answer for themselves.

To be understood, they work to understand.

(Note - You Could Argue that this is true of any job, or in truth, is a basic tenet of life. Phooey. How many people do you know who listen really, really well? Count them, it's a small number. Listening well is a learned skill that is depressingly rare.)

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