Leaders are often encouraged to listen first so that those who report to them are more likely to express ideas and share valuable input. The idea being that if leaders speak first, they will bias those around them.
Another piece of advice is to ignore the person who is the loudest in the room as the one who is most talkative is likely the least open to other’s thoughts. The idea being that they are operating from insecurity and are attempting to control the room.
Also worth considering.
And the final piece of advice, is to listen closely to the person who has been quiet during the discussion because that person will have the most sound advice. The idea here being that this person has been listening with intention.
Perhaps. Or perhaps they are just avoiding conflict 🙂
The point being that all of these are true and none of these are true because they each fail to get to the skill that is at the heart of sharing ideas: curiosity.
Curiosity means asking open questions while allowing your opinions to be changed by the answers. Simply being quiet and offering your opinion last doesn’t imply a curious nature any more than speaking first in the room implies the lack of one.
The most effective conversations result from a group of curious people, and this behavior is reliably demonstrated by asking meaningful questions. Whether a person is loud or quiet or somewhere in between is completely beside the point.
So the next time you’re leading a meeting or having a conversation, try focusing on the questions you ask rather than the responses you give. The results will be pleasantly surprising.
The Leadership Weekly
Weekly wisdom from the DS Leadership Life team.