Let's consider the flip side of good listening for a moment. How can we make it easier for other people to listen to u
Let's consider the flip side of good listening for a moment. How can we make it easier for other people to listen to us?
Some things are easier to listen to than others. If we want to be listened to, we can apply some easy tactics to be more engaging by interlacing stories into our conversations. Typically, people enjoy hearing stories or vivid descriptions because these create mental pictures in the mind. Further, storytelling is one of the most effective ways to foster relationships in an organization. Indeed, the whole area of organizational stories has become a fruitful area of research into why some companies do better than others.
Jack Welch, CEO of GE, tells about a young manager leading his first project. As a result of the young man's bad decisions, the company lost $5 million. He went to Jack Welch to apologize and resign. Instead of accepting his resignation, Welch told the embarrassed young manager that the company could not afford for him to resign because GE had just invested $5 million in his education!
Stories about people's anticsâ€”heroic or humorousâ€”make for engaging conversation. They are often easier to listen to than other kinds of messages.
A story can be used to change the way people operate in a company. The GE story says several things: that people can make a mistake and still be valuable to the company, that experiments don't always work, and that people are more important than projects. Whatever the interpretation, messages like these free up creativity and encourage experimentation and discovery. It is a reason that Jack Welch was one of the most highly regarded CEOs in corporate America.
1. Why is it easier for most of us to listen to stories as opposed to other forms of information?
2. What can you do to use stories or vivid anecdotes and thus help others listen?