I am a big advocate for hearing different opinions. A diversity of perspective, can slow conversations, but almost always enriches them and reducing the mistakes we makre or harm caused. Listening is one of the most important skills change makers, leaders can have or develop. Talk less, listen more.
However, listening can also be used as an excuse for not making a decision. There is always more perspectives to listen to, to bring out. The thing is that we will never hear them all. A change maker and a leader knows when s/he has heard multiple different perspectives. When s/he has heard perspectives looking at the issue from different angles. And s/he also knows when s/he has clarity on the decision required and what that decision is.
Too often, when we realise the decision we need to make is not popular or might cause upset or angst, we decide to keep discussing, keep ‘listening’. However, we are not listening, we are hiding. More than hiding, we are dithering. We are doing the opposite of what is needed. And the thing we forget is that in our stalling, our dithering, we cause more frustration, harm, and annoyance than if we would have made a decision in the first place.
Listen, always listen first, but when you know you’ve heard multiple perspectives, then decide. Don’t dither.
Photo by GRAY