We all want to make a positive contribution with our work. We often assume that we know how to help, so we plough ahead without stopping to consider how other people might be affected. Although we might think of ourselves as “good listeners,” we listen for information that will help us convince, fix, or dismiss, instead of listening for understanding.
When I was hired to lead a team through a transition to agile methods, I dived straight into changing processes and applying tools. I couldn’t understand why the team seemed to become less productive, and stakeholders started to ask awkward questions. I realised that in my enthusiasm to help, I hadn’t opened channels of communication which allowed people to be authentic in expressing their needs. Once I started listening, I was able to build trust and connect with my team. Learn how to:
* encourage people to express their needs honestly by giving your full attention without asking for anything in return
* support people to work through problems themselves without offering solutions or sharing your own experiences
* be fully present during conversations by allocating time for preparation and follow-up
Recorded live at #dareconf London, 28 September 2015 at the Arcola Theatre. dareconf.com