Close your eyes. What do you hear? The zooming traffic outside. Office devices humming in the background. Chatter emanating from the hallway. Let’s face it the world is a noisy place.
Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, said back in AD 55 – ‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak’. This was a great quote back then and with so many communication channels competing for our attention it’s even more relevant today.
Here’s the thing. Hearing is not the same as listening. And passive listening is not the same as active listening.
Why is making this distinction important to leaders and the organisation’s success? In a nutshell, if as leaders, we don’t sharpen our active listening skill we risk
not learning what matters the most to key stakeholders.
If we don’t ‘pull’ what inspires them or understand their pain we can’t give them what they want. Instead we end up ‘pushing’ what we think they need. Put another way – need equals survive. Want equals grow. Which would you prefer?
If it’s the latter, here are a few thoughts about why using the organisation’s event portfolio, as an active listening device, is worth its weight in gold in an already very loud world.