Tom Peters, in his book The Little Big Things, list listening as the 112th of 163 things that are important. Peters goes through a long list of what listening is.
Listening is, among other points:
- The ultimate mark of Respect
- The heart and soul of Engagement
- The basis for true collaboration
- The basis of community
- A team sport
- The basis for true partnership
- The true core of effective cross-functional communication.
He says that listening is profitable. In fact according to Peters the ROI on listening is higher than from any other single activity.
The good news is that listening is a learnable skill. Peters asks the question “shouldn’t listening be the #1 training priority at every stage of everyone’s career?”
To me this goes from the newest worker to the CEO. One of my pet peeves that indicates that someone has heard but not listened is when I order a glass of water with no lemon. Invariably that glass arrives with a lemon. The server heard but did not listen.
Peters asks if you agree that listening is critical what are you going to do about it? He suggests that you begin on it today.
Are you listening?