Monday, January 24, 2005

The Art of Listening, Or How to Really Manage 

Listening has become a forgotten art over time. People have developed the habit of rushing through newspapers, TV programs and conversations. Listening is not about accessing content, it’s about reflecting about it, make meaning out of it and connecting better with people by understanding them better.

I think it’s James Farmer who wrote that most people, instead of listening during a conversation, are usually busy getting their reply ready. That is so true. Modern conversations have become simultaneous monologs. True listeners are rare, and I’m not one of them though I’m working on it.

For me management is more about listening than talking. However, most managers are usually much better talkers than listeners. Listening is critical in management in that it’s the first step in putting information and thoughts together. That is fundamental in organizational meaning-making.

My impression on James’ Bad Management or Too-Much Management would be that we just lack quality listening.

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