I sometimes tell people “I teach adults to listen. It’s not easy, but when they get it, some amazing things happen.” We come alongside clients and help them agree on what they want to hear when listening to people for hiring or growth. That takes a while, but then comes the hard part… helping them listen to what their candidates or employees are really saying.
By nature, people are self–centered in many parts of life that is hopefully tempered with manners and guided maturity. When we listen to people talk, the first thing we tend to do is interpret their words from our perspective. By assuming the person is thinking and speaking just the way we would, it’s no wonder so many misunderstandings happen between people.
We often use the same words but miss the intended context coming from that person’s mindset. We either fill in the blanks to give the person the benefit of the doubt OR jump to the wrong conclusion and dismiss them too soon. It takes humility to be quiet, listen to understand, and try to see things through their eyes and ears.
My business is listening with and for our clients to help them hear what candidates or employees are saying, then accurately interpret their meaning. When it comes to hiring, they’re often too generous when interpreting what a person is saying, filling in details that simply were not there. They settle for what sounded good without actually saying much. Pointing out the pretenders or the look-a likes is a win because they avoid a bad hire.
On the other side, we help them avoid overlooking a talented person with a different style or background but shines as superstar. Listening is hard because you and I have to get out of the way to let the other person shine. Only then can we know we are making the right decision with a mutual understanding.
Life is a team sport. What helps to humble yourself to really listen to others, and respond well?