Listening Matters

You know how folks are always offering advice?  In a recent edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education, the advice from David D. Perlmutter includes “listen as well as you speak”.

I tend to believe I’m a pretty good speaker.

But that advice in The Chronicle caused me to think about whether I’m a good listener.  I think I’m getting better at listening.  But I also think I tend to jump in, or cut someone off, or add a comment, or assume I know what someone is about to say.  I think I need to practice my listening skills so that those who are speaking – whether one-on-one or in a group – can finish their thoughts.

How about you?  Are you a good listener?  Do you listen to your students?  To your colleagues?  Or are you more like me – with a tendency to chime in too soon?  We’re all highly educated, capable, assertive, accomplished, opinionated folk.  So – speaking for myself – I know I could be a better listener, which would make me a better colleague and a better AVP.

My pledge to you is to listen intently.  So let me know what I can do to help you do your work.  Let me know what ideas I can take forward.  Let me know if I can bring people together around a concept or a notion that needs a little brainstorming.  If you let me know, I promise to listen.

Picture courtesy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health

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