Watch and Listen Before You Leap!

So what have you learned?  The question is one I’ve been asked millions of times. I am one of those individuals who see myself as a life long learner.  In fact I’ve had colleagues ask me “Rosemary why are you interested in so many areas of study?  Why am I interested in continuously discovering new things about myself? The second question is much easier to answer.  As a consultant and Requisite Organization advisor I am the instrument of learning and change with which my clients interact.  Role modeling when building engaged organizations is essential. I cannot ask workers to do anything I have not done myself.   People take stock more in a person’s behavior than in what they say.  If the two are incongruous a red flag is likely to go up.  Often an unexplained sense of caution prevails.

So lets get back to the question at hand.  What have you learned?  If you have been reading the previous two blogs you may have learned that as astute as you think you are in skilled observation you were befuddled by the marbles and did not see the changes taking place before your very eyes in the ball playing video.  You are not alone.  Unfortunately, I do not have the statistics but can only imagine most of us don’t see what is before our very eyes.

It’s important to keep an open mind.  Even when you think you know what a person means when they make a statement it’s prudent to paraphrase to be sure your assumption is correct.  I’ve been teaching this basic of all communication skills for more than 25 years and am fascinated how infrequently it is used.  Focus is important, but too strong a focus can be detrimental. Focusing on one area or problem can result in not seeing the bigger picture or more important situation. There is always “more than meets the eye.”

During these dog days of August I ask you to pay attention.  Rethink immediate reactions to other people’s ideas and thoughts.  Challenge yourself to use the skill of paraphrasing what another says to insure you understand the intent of their communication.  I guaranty this simple skill will improve your communication with others at work, as well as at home.  You will be more engaged in the interaction and subsequently in your own unique fashion helping to build more engaged organizations.