Hearken Ye…..

Hearken YeIn the September 12 New York Times, OpEd columnist David Brooks wrote a refreshingly apolitical opinion piece that is a worthwhile reflection on aspects of leadership that are as pertinent today as they were in the stories that formed the Old Testament.  It’s worth a read for this reason alone. Continue reading

Overcoming Defective Ears

Young businessman holds his hand near ear.Close up portraitFive-year-old Elizabeth was describing the rules of a board game to Carlos.  He, a native Spanish speaker, was struggling a bit with her rapid-fire, lisp-tinged English, and frequently asked her to repeat her instructions.  Elizabeth, exasperated, shouted, “Carlos, your ears are defective!  I’m telling you, and you don’t understand!” Continue reading

How Is Your Listening Juice?

Grab a pencil and list the names of people that you consider excellent listeners.

  • How many names appear on your list?
  • Does your own name belong on your list?
  • When is the last time you offered your full listening attention?
  • When is the last time someone fully and patiently listened to you?

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Not “Just the Facts, Ma’am”: The Creative Power of Listening

There’s an instructive dichotomy between how western and eastern cultures view listening.  In the west, we place responsibility on the speaker for getting the message right; for being clear.  But in countries like China and Japan, it is the listener who shoulders the responsibility for engaging the messages conveyed ‘between the lines’ to arrive at the speaker’s real meaning.  The listener is expected to create meaning from what is said – and not said.  While neither cultural norm is better than the other, what is instructive is that there is another way to look at listening: as an active exploration for meaning. Continue reading