Become a Better Listener

One of my professional development goals is to become a better listener (I’m guilty of jumping in with answers far too quickly) so this post will become a log of all the material I’m using to achieve that goal.

  1. Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high – I need to read it again but my key take away from the 1st pass is to create a safe space when discussing difficult topics;
  2. Conversation Patterns for Software Professionals – “nature abhors a vacuum”?  Maybe so but in conversation, it can work to your advantage;
  3. The 7 Things Great Listeners Do Differently – a mix of common sense & good manners. No earth shattering revelations here;
  4. Project Management Coaching – Michael Nir

    It has been said that we have been given two ears and only one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Listening is an art form, and asking questions is a tool to active listening. Yet, asking a question, without listening to the answer, is one of the fastest ways of showing a team that you don’t care about them. Good questions have to be followed up by attentive listening.

Agile Book Recommendations

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21 memos from your child

  1. Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all that I ask for. I’m only testing you;
  2. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it – It makes me feel more secure;
  3. Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages;
  4. Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly “big”;
  5. Don’t correct me in front of other people, if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk with me in private;
  6. Don’t make me feel my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values;
  7. Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes;
  8. Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need;
  9. Don’t be too upset when I say, “I hate you.” It isn’t you I hate, but your power to thwart me;
  10. Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf;
  11. Don’t make rash promises. Remember that I feel badly let down when promises are broken;
  12. Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. This is why I’m not always very accurate;
  13. Don’t tax my honesty too much. I’m easily frightened into telling lies;
  14. Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you;
  15. Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere;
  16. Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real, and you can do so much to reassure me if you understand;
  17. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither;
  18. Don’t ever think it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm toward you;
  19. Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult to keep pace with me, but please do try;
  20. Don’t forget I love experimenting. I couldn’t get on without it, so please put up with it;
  21. Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of understanding love, but I don’t need to tell you, do I?

Source Olga Zhuravskaya