Anger. Frustration. Annoyance. Disbelief. Confusion. Overwhelm. Sadness. Directionless.
These and many other emotions often fill us and our colleagues during periods of change. Especially change that was not initiated by us.
One of the most powerful but most difficult thing we can do in these moments is listen. Not justify, just listen. Not give advice, just listen. Ask questions for clarity, but not questions that are judgements masquerading as questions. And then listen to the answers.
If we do this. Two things will almost certainly happen. First, we will learn something – a new perspective or insight into the other. And second, the other will feel heard.
And that’s the difficult part. Feeling heard. People often don’t feel heard because we flip from listening into debate mode, judgement mode, or trying to convert them to our view point.
Listening is powerful in moments of change. And yes, ‘moments’ can be minutes, but also can be months or years.
Listening is rare. We, including me, would benefit from increasing the amount of time we spend everyday listening. And keep improving on the day before each day for the rest of our lives.
The world will be a better place.