The Discipline of Listening – Ram Charan – Harvard Business Review

The Discipline of Listening – Ram Charan – Harvard Business Review.

The essential argument here is that listening is a core competency for success.  This post has more quotes than the norm but I find Ram Charan expresses his ideas so clearly that it makes more sense to do so.

Pan for the nuggets.

His essential point being that you are listening to mine for important bits through your notetaking or some other technique.

Then let the other person know that they were understood by probing, clarifying, or further shaping those thoughts.”

Consider the Source.

“Work to understand each person’s frame of reference—where they are coming from. …you are most likely to reach productive solutions; further, all the participants will feel heard, whether their solution is adopted or not. Active listening and probing (with humility, not aggression) energizes groups…”

Prime the Pump. Essential point here is that you take what you heard to feed it back to your group to prime them for greater success.

Slow Down.

There is a reason that, over the years, you have lost your ability to listen. It feels too passive, like the opposite of action. It’s much faster to move to a decision based on the information you already have.”

Keep Yourself Honest.

“No habit is broken without discipline, feedback, and practice…. Make a habit of asking yourself after interactions whether you understood the essence of what was said to you, the person’s point of view, their context, and their emotion. Also ask yourself whether that person knows that they were heard and understood.”


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