Listening as a trusted advisor vs friend
To see how you may listen to others, consider two scenarios where you meet someone at a social event. They mention a movie they liked; one you also saw and enjoyed. Scenario one: like friends, you compare movie tastes, then skip to other common interests. Scenario two: you mention you liked it as well, but ask out of curiosity what they liked about the movie and why. The first scenario is the way we listen as a friend. The second scenario is how we listen as a trusted advisor. While it may be instinctive to focus on what we have in common, at work it’s not helpful. What people value is dealing with individuals who – by active listening rather than comparing – prove they truly understand their customers’ and coworkers’ needs. You bring more to the table when – like a trusted advisor – you listen more for other people’s context than for what you have in common.
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