Guest EditorPOSTED May 30, 2016

Want to make a statement? Start by listening

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APEX - listening

Like, actually listening.

Every environment I’ve worked in, I’ve had the good fortune to be surrounded by great people – each of them bringing something unique to the table. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with great leaders that have all shared one characteristic:  The ability to get the best from their teams, by actively listening to their colleagues.

We’re living in a TL;DR world – and great leaders make sure they don’t operate in a TL;DL world. At a presentation, brainstorm, or at the watercooler, here’s four things to keep in mind to be sure you’re actually hearing what people around you are saying:

  1. Be patient. Plotting your escape or thinking about your next meeting? You’re probably not really paying attention.
  2. Most people are inclined to seek solutions – don’t focus on ‘fixing’, focus on what’s being said.
  3. Don’t interrupt – write down your thought, continue listening, and follow up when the speaker has concluded.
  4. Avoid the temptation to ask questions that lead towards your ideas (see point #2), and instead ask questions that allow the speaker to elaborate or clarify; You know what you think, what about them?

You know you’ve got a great team. By listening attentively, and asking the right questions, you won’t have to worry about missing innovative ideas that could drive your next award-winning project, an AHA moment, or just another opportunity to foster a great team environment.

Dimitri Bariamis is a digital media specialist at our sister agency ruckus digital. Follow him on Twitter @dimitri_os.