Listening: Why You Should Care
January 11, 2019
To lead a life of significance an indispensable component is listening. Many endeavors in life require a jumping off point. It’s the point where you have to stop thinking and dreaming about what you want to achieve and make steps to achieving it. Good listening is essential to closing the gap between vision and reality.
If listening is so valuable though, why do so few of us really listen?
Lack of curiosity is the answer. Most people don’t care what other people think – but we should care. Few leaders or people in general listen well. They would rather listen to the sound of their own voices than to other people. The sad fact is so few people really want to listen. Therein lies a conundrum.
What can listening do for you?
To make your vision a reality often requires the input, feedback and buy-in of others. These individuals may work for you or with you. They may be your employees, business partners, associates, or your friends and family. Regardless, without the buy-in of others, typically your vision will go nowhere. In a word, it will be dead on arrival.
Part of the reason for this is that by listening to others, it may make your vision better. By listening to others, you may find you hear ideas you have not thought of. You might learn of unexpected roadblocks or pitfalls before they happen. Wouldn’t you rather learn of future difficulties before they happen, than be in crisis mode when you have to deal with them in real time?
Good listening also allows you to better understand what is going on around you. The feedback may be from close to home or far away. Either way, feedback is invaluable. You can decide how helpful feedback is from any particular source. But the act of seeking feedback is so important if you really want your vision to happen. One idea could revolutionize our own ideas and make them so much better.
Getting Buy In
Another reason listening is so crucial is that until people have been heard, they will not typically buy-in to your vision. When you allow people to be heard, there’s a chance your vision will change, but there’s also a chance it won’t. Once people have been heard, they may go along with your vision without any changes. At the end of the day, people just want to be heard and feel included.
It all boils down to the fact that if you want your vision to become reality, you have to really want to listen to others. The more you seek to understand the other person, put yourself in their shoes, have empathy for them, the more it will help you listen. We do not have to agree with the input of everyone, but we should want input. We should not be afraid of feedback, because it’s feedback that will help our vision become stronger.
The price of getting our vision accomplished is often our desire to listen…to really listen.
Do you really want to listen?
How could listening make your vision so much better?
Who should you listen to?