A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

Elvis had the right idea.

Chalk it up to being your token middle child, but I consider myself an exemplary listener. It’s likely though, that I just couldn’t get a word in edge wise at the kitchen table, leaving me to do nothing but listen to my boisterous older sister and eloquent younger brother. This trait has surely served me well in many aspects of my life, none more so than in my professional endeavors.

In an article entitled “Why You Need to Take a Listening Tour”, Scott Eblin identifies the utility of listening. In it he offers:

Successful leaders know that it’s critical to tune in to what’s most important to their stakeholders.   Listening is a great way to do that.  Especially if you’re the newest member of the leadership team, going on a listening tour can be a valuable way to build relationships and determine your priorities.   In planning your listening tour, identify your stakeholders and develop a list of questions to ask each of them in conversation. Building your conversation around some questions will enable you to compare what you hear and to identify your initial priorities.

Seems logical, doesn’t it? A clear assessment of the work environment allows employees to better prepare for success.

Eblin suggests asking the following on a listening tour:

  • What are the key outcomes that will make this year successful for you and your team?
  • What kind of support would you like to see from me and my team to support your success?
  • What is working well that my team should keep doing?
  • What would you like to see my team start or stop doing to be more effective?
  • If you were to look out 12 to 24 months from now and envision my team as completely successful,  what would you see in terms of results and the mindsets and behaviors that drive results?
  • What advice do you have for me in my new role?

What do you think: How else can listening improve and help foster relationships at work and in life?

Source: Why You Need to Take a Listening Tour, Scott Eblin

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