2013 Listening Challenge
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2013 Listening Challenge

2013 Listening Challenge

american cocker spaniel with ear flying out - champion bloodlinesOn January 4, I recommended making one small change per month this year to become one of the best listeners in your organization and reap the rewards of better collaboration, higher trust, and improved teamwork. I want to thank everyone who’s reached out to tell me you’re doing the challenge and seeing the benefits. You rock!

If you’ve been participating, then pat yourself on the back. If not, please join us now. It’s never too late. Just jump in and enjoy the adventure.

Your Listening Challenge for September was:

“Repeat the last word or main point as a question. If the other person says, ‘The gross margin demands are unreasonable’ then say, ‘Unreasonable?’ and nothing more. It’s an easy technique to practice, and a simple way to invite the other person to share both subjective and objective data.”

How did it go?

We’re coming in to the final stretch, so turbo charge your engine to finish strong! Your listening challenge for October, if you are willing to accept it, is:

“Use clean inquiries, which means a question that is not a criticism in disguise. For example, let’s say your team has made a strategic decision to end production of several custom products after the current contracts are honored, because the margins are too low and the products aren’t aligned with your long-term strategy. A month later, a team member furrows her brow and says, “We have a lot of idle machines this month. Do you think I should approach the buyer on this account to see if he wants to do one more run?” An unclean inquiry would be, “I THOUGHT we agreed to DISCONTINUE this custom product, didn’t we?” It’s an accusation thinly disguised as a question, which is a filthy dirty inquiry designed to pick a fight or display dominance in a nasty way. A clean inquiry would be, “I’m concerned because that seems to me to go against our decision. What’s behind your thinking on this?” Clean inquiries are valuable beyond measure when you feel your emotions start to rise.”

Let me know how it’s going, share your thoughts.